The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) is attempting to cover up plans by the Akufo Addo administration to hand over the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to a consortium of Turkish companies, Whatsup News can report.
After workers of the GACL protested the planned sale after reports hit the public, the GACL on July 8, 2020 released a hasty statement in an attempt to deflect the fact that President Akufo Addo has already given executive approval for KIA to be handed over to the Turkish consortium.
In the statement, the GACL claimed that the planned sale to the Turkish is only a proposal yet to be considered.
“The Managing Director of GACL, Mr. Yaw Kwakwa, confirmed receipt of a proposal for partnership from TAV-SUMMA which was yet to be considered. He assured the Divisional Union that they would be consulted when the process begins,” the GACL statement read.
“The Chairperson of GACL, Madam Oboshie Sai Cofie in an interview with Daily Graphic on July 3, 2020, said the Board had received the proposal but that no discussion had started”
However, Whatsup News has intercepted
Whatsup News has intercepted an executive approval from President Akufo Addo, handing over KIA to the Turkish consortium TAV-SUMM in a “Strategic Partnership”.
The executive approval referenced OPS18210L.9/20/2, dated March 24, 2020, and signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Executive Secretary of the President read: “The President has granted executive approval for the Ministry of Aviation to facilitate the engagement of TAV-SUMMA Consortium as strategic partners to the Ghana Airports Company Limited for the improvement of service delivery and expansion of infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport.”
This official approval flies in the face of the denials by the GACL, the GACL Chairperson Oboshie Sai Cofie and the Minister of Aviation Joseph Kofi Adah.
Critics say the alleged strategic partnership is a masked privatisation move by the Akufo Addo administration of Ghana’s main international airport. This plan has been on the drawing board for a long time, but resistance from staff and the general public had forced the government to pussy-foot.
In April 2019, a leaked cabinet memorandum showed that TAV Airport Holding Company Limited was primed to take over the management of The GACL in what would have basically rendered the senior management and staff of the state airport company useless.
Since April 2019, TAV has constituted itself into a consortium with other companies to come in even stronger. This time, they are not coming for mere management services, they will be GACL’s strategic partners not only in management services, but to provide resources for infrastructural projects of KIA.
Meanwhile, in 2019, when the leaked privatisation memorandum was leaked, workers of GACL staged a spirited resistance to the plan. A statement from a group of angry staff questioned the reasonability of giving off Ghana’s major airports to a private firm just when the GCL had been reformed and operations have been made efficient.
“We can unequivocally state that GACL is efficient and effective when it comes to airport management and infrastructural development. This is evident in the successful completion of Terminal 3 and consistent posting of profit since 2011…We can state for a fact that the new Terminal 3 building, which is an envy of all especially our neighbouring sub-Saharan African countries was built and funded solely on the balance sheet of the company without any sovereign guarantee,” a statement from the peeved GACL staff read.
The apparent resolve by the Akufo Addo administration to hand over a chunk of KIA to private investors comes after the Ghanaian government had recently used pubic funds approximated at US$ 300 million to renovate KIA.