The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, GACL, Yaw Kwakwa, has defended the company’s decision to partner a foreign firm in the management of the country’s Airports.
According to him, the partnership is necessary to address a couple of operational challenges that ought to be resolved if Ghana is to become an Aviation hub as the government envisages.
Among other things, the company says it needs to repay outstanding debts including the money used to construct the Terminal 3 of the KIA, and expand other infrastructure at the various airports.
The explanation comes after workers of GACL, led by the Public Sector Workers Union, at a protest on Wednesday, reiterated their concerns and vowed to resist the partnership with Turkish firm, TAV SUMMA.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the Managing Director said they are under pressure to find money to repay outstanding loans hence the need to consider alternatives like partnerships.
“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.
The decision to engage the Turkish firm, TAV SUMMA, as a strategic partner, has been met with stiff opposition from workers who have described the move as an outright sale that may lead to job losses. and curtail their privileges.
But the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, says that cannot be the case as there are plans to even recruit more people following the expansion works at the Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani Airports, which have all been curtailed because of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, in a statement dismissed reports that it has concluded processes to cede the management of Kotoka International Airport to a foreign company.
According to him though the process of engagement has not begun, an Executive Approval has been signed by the President for the Ministry to facilitate the engagement with TAV-SUMMA Consortium to improve service delivery and expansion of infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport to achieve the Government’s vision of making Ghana the Aviation Hub within the sub-region.