Mahama lied, Kotoka airport not for sale –Airport company
The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has refuted claims of placing the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on sale.
The company was reacting to claims by former President John Dramani Mahama that the facility was being sold to a Turkish consortium, TAM-SUMMA.
In a statement, the company emphasised that “the Kotoka International Airport is not for sale or being privatised.”
The release explained that an unsolicited proposal has been received from the Turkish firm, but it was yet to be considered.
Hence, “it is rather unfortunate that certain figures from the proposal are being used to peddle untruths”.
The company also rejected claims that that $600million have been invested in the upgrade of the airport.
In their estimation, the amount “may be in reference to the funding of projects in all airports including $130m runway project at Tamale Airport and $25m new airport in Ho”.
The firm added that it has been able to meet its repayment obligations under the loan facility to invest in the rehabilitation of the airport.
Mr Mahama had stated that during his tenure “a valuation study of the Kotoka Airport was done and it was valued at over GH¢ 5 billion. It also had an insured value in the region of GH¢3 to GH¢4 billion because a lot of money had been invested in the airport and it had become one of the five best airports in Africa.”
He, therefore, described as a “strange development where a Turkish company is being given the airport; to take over the airport and run it. For $70 million we are giving 66% of the airport to a Turkish company”.
“We are against it. It is wrong,” Mr Mahama vehemently opposed.
Protests by Kotoka airport workers
Agitated workers embarked on series of protests in July over what they said were attempt to sell the airport.
Staff from Kumasi, Tamale and Accra, wore red clothes, held placards, eggs, churning songs and invoking curses to register their displeasure.
A member of the senior staff union who has worked with the company for 18 years, Almond Quartey, in an interview with Joy News monitored by theghanareport.com explained how the transfer will affect them.
“You know if a private man comes in, obviously, some of the benefits will change. The salary structure will change, benefits will cease so we don’t need it at all.
“The partnership is not going to be favourable to workers. Each and every worker here are going to fight, we are very serious,” he said.
According to him, the move is unnecessary and must be avoided.
Supporting his stance, the General Secretary of the Public Service Workers Union, Trades Union Congress, Bernard Adjei, who led the protest, mentioned that there will be an engagement with management to register their concerns.
“We have been confronted with such a situation. So, as responsible citizens of this country and a responsible union, we are using the structures and all the avenues and resources available to us to deal with this matter.
“What we want to assure you is that we will not sit down and allow anything to be done at the detriment of workers,” the General Secretary assured.
Government rules out sale of Kotoka airport
Following the protests, the Ministry of Aviation, held a press conference to assure the public that there were no plans to cede the airport to a foreign company.
Sector minister Joseph Kofi Adda stressed, “there is no planned sale of the Kotoka International Airport or any airport asset in Ghana”.
“There is no privatization of the Ghana Airports Company Limited in any way. There is no management take-over of GACL. There is no planned lay-offs or retrenchment or redundancies of any sort in respect of the GACL personnel, ” he underscored.