Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, GACL, Yaw Kwakwa, has explained why the company has made the decision to partner a foreign firm in managing the country’s major international and local Airports.
He said the partnership is important since it is going to help address various operational challenges that need to be resolved if the country’s intention of becoming an Aviation hub is realized.
The decision according to Yaw Kwakwa was made after consultations on how to repay the outstanding debts which include monies used got the constructing of Terminal 3 of the KIA, by the erstwhile administration and expansion of other airports in the country.
This follows a demonstration which was held by workers of GACL, led by the Public Sector Workers Union, on Wednesday at a protest against the management decision to privatize the GACL through means of a partnership with a Turkish firm, TAV SUMMA.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, the Managing Director Yaw Kwakwa said the decision was not made in just a day and they currently need money to repay all outstanding debts which have led them considering alternatives like partnership since they cannot borrow to pay another debt.
“To be able to transform ourselves into an Aviation Hub in West Africa, we need to build infrastructure and to do that we need money. Now, the company is constrained because of the debt situation. To the point that it makes running the company extremely difficult. So, how do we say no to someone who approaches us with the idea of infusing capital into the business so that we can build the needed infrastructure? So, the broad idea is there, but the quantum of that idea needs to be prosecuted. We need to also prepare to be able to engage them. They also cannot finally release their proposal to us because they don’t know the financial status of the company,” he said.
But according to the workers is a strategic plan made by the leaders of the company to sell it outright and not to partner as they. They indicated that the partnership is a disadvantage to Ghana since the supposed shares the GACL company will be having is nothing write home about hence likely to cause job losses and cancellation of other benefits being enjoyed currently.
However, the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, has noted that the mindset of the workers isn’t actually the company is planning on because there are plans to even recruit more people following the expansion works at the Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani Airports this year, which have all been halted due to COVID-19.
Workers of the Ghana Airport Company Limit on Tuesday embarked on a demonstration to kick against government decision on partnering a foreign firm from Turkey TAV-SUMMA.
In a letter dated 24th March 2020, the president granted the management of the company their wish to partner the Turkish firm but this according to the workers is a wrong move hence the demonstration.
By Amos Ekow Coffie | talksafrica.com