The Deputy General Secretary of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), John Sampa, has confirmed that the Akufo Addo administration has indeed sold the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to private companies from Turkey.
According to Mr. Sampa, official documents available to the PSWU shows that the government of Ghana will control only 34 per cent shares of KIA in the questionable “strategic partnership” with the Turkish consortium, TAV-SUMMA Consortium
The agreement between the Turks and the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) is being presented as a management contract, but the PSWU boss said it is pure privatisation of Ghana’s main international airport.
“They showed us a proposal from the government, which centres on public-private partnership and one that when approved, will give the government only 34 per cent and the Turkish company consortium 66%…If you enter into an agreement with someone who will have 66 per cent shares, then it simply means you have sold the company,” Mr. Sampa told Accra 100.5 FM on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation, the GACL and the entire Akufo Addo administration had attempted to deny the reported sale, saying it was a mere proposal that has not been considered yet.
“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 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,” the GACL said in a statement issued last week.
However, Whatsup News can report that the government has already granted executive approval to the deal to privatise KIA, much to the disappointment of workers who have been given false assurances.
The deal which is not so clear if it had been approved by the Ghanaian Parliament or not was given executive approval by President Akufo Addo on March 24, 2020.
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 Adda.
Earlier, 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.
Meanwhile, in 2019, when the leaked privatisation memorandum was leaked, workers of GACL had protested saying: “…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.