Ablakwa leads ‘Hands off our hotels’ demo in Accra

Source The Ghana Report

North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and other protesters hit the streets of Accra to kick against the sale of state-owned hotels. 

The protesters are opposing the sale of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hotels to Rock City Hotel Limited, owned by Food and Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong.

The hotels in question are Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, and Trust Lodge Hotel.

They gathered at the La Palm Royal Beach Resort along the Accra-Tema beach road on Tuesday, June 18, to echo their sentiments in the protest, dubbed ‘Hands off our hotels’ demonstration.

The demonstrators are expected to proceed to the Christ the King Parish to hand over a petition to the government officials at the Jubilee House.

The messages on the placards include, “Bryan focus on food prices”, “Save pensions”, “Labadi should buy Rock City”, “The state capture must stop” and “Pensioners deserve better”.

Mr Ablakwa aims to compel President Nana Akufo-Addo to prevent the sale, which he describes as a classic case of state capture.

He questioned why Mr. Acheampong, as a cabinet member, doesn’t use his expertise to improve the hotels without acquiring a controlling stake.

“Why is it that he will only bring his expertise to bear when he has bought it and now has controlling shares of 60 per cent?” Mr Ablakwa asked, highlighting the potential conflict of interest.

SSNIT has since denied any wrongdoing, stating that the decision to sell a 60% stake in its hotels was part of a strategy to partner with an investor to raise capital and improve management.

This strategy, SSNIT claims, began in 2018 through International Competitive Tendering (ICT) processes as prescribed by the Public Procurement Act.

Despite SSNIT’s assurances, Mr. Ablakwa has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the transaction.

The North Tongu MP believes it is necessary to halt the sale due to ongoing processes to finalize the deal despite widespread opposition.

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