President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut sod for the commencement of work on the second phase of the Tamale International Airport.
The project which is to be completed in 30 months starting from next month would be executed by a Brazilian company, Queiro Galvao.
The project worth 70 million dollars would be funded by the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) facility.
President Akufo-Addo speaking at the sod cutting ceremony yesterday stated that the expansion of the Tamale International Airport was part of the government’s vision to expand frontiers of the aviation industry in the country.
He emphasised that the second phase of the Tamale International Airport when completed would make Ghana the aviation hub within the West African Sub-Region.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that the development of the second phase of the airport was in line with the government aviation sector infrastructure development programme.
He said that the project was so dear to his heart and every effort would be done to ensure it was completed on schedule.
The President explained that the expansion works of the project would involve construction of the ultra-modern terminal building together with a multi-purpose Hajj facility and other ancillary facilities.
President Akufo Addo emphasised that the project would provide the needed impetus for economic growth in the area.
He stressed that the second phase would reduce poverty, as it would help create several job opportunities for the people of the region.
The president added that the project would help alleviate the sufferings of those transporting vegetables abroad as they would be flying from Tamale to their destinations.
He also explained that the Tamale International Airport when completed would serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport in the country.
President Akufo-Addo further revealed that the Ministry of Aviation was working closely with its agencies and other stakeholders to support domestic operations through periodic engagement and interactions.
He hinted that there would be future expansion of the airport and therefore issued stern warning to developers to stay away from the airport land.
The President charged the Ministry of Aviation to put measures in place to secure the land in order to protect it from encroachers.
The Overlord of Dagbon, Mahama Mahamai Abukari on his part commended the president for the zeal and commitment towards the development of the north.
He pledged to support government to realise its dream for the people of the area.
Yaa-Naa Abukari also indicated his traditional leaders’ readiness to monitor and support the contractor to quality work.
The President later addressed a durbar of the chiefs and people of Saboba traditional area and inspected progress of works on a water project.
He also visited Gusheigu to inspect a water project and a Smock Weaving Centre.
The President is being accompanied by the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, Business Development Minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Roads, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta and host of other ministers.
FROM YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED, TAMALE