September 20, 2020
Clickongh

Airports Company MD slams workers’ protest over proposed partnership

The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa, has told Citi Business News he’s disappointed in the position taken by the Public Services Workers’ Union regarding the proposed partnership with a Turkish firm, TAV-Summa Consortium, for Airport infrastructure expansion.

According to him, the workers’ protest was uncalled for, since management had at a meeting, assured them that the Kotoka International Airport was not being ceded to a foreign company as reported.

His comment comes at a time when some staff of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, GACL say any partnership may diminish their benefits and lead to job losses.

“The truth of the matter is that, we received a proposal from a consortium about possible partnership with us. The proposal is not detailed yet, but they have shown that they want to come and partner with us. It is a proposal and we don’t have to say yes or no. It is rather unfortunate that the Union went out there to say that the company is on the verge of privatization or sale. That is so far from the truth.”

“When the rumor started, the Union came to us. We sat down with them and had a very detailed discussion and we emphatically told them that the company was not on sale or about to be privatized. So it beats me that the same group of people will go out and say otherwise,” he said.

Responding to calls by the Minority in Parliament for government to desist from negotiating the partnership agreement, Mr. Kwakwa indicated that not only does government need capital to repay outstanding loans, but also the right expertise to boost infrastructure of the Airport.

“The thing is that, it is not only about money but the expertise. If you are forming a strategic partnership, you are also looking for various inputs. You don’t only use money to do business. You also need expertise. So, there are other facets that we are looking at,” he added.

Background

Earlier this month, the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, in a statement dismissed reports that government 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, a Turkish firm, 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.

He also said that the Ministry is seeking about 40 million dollars to revamp the runway at the Kotoka International Airport.

Following the Ministry of Aviation’s clarification, the KIA branch of the Public Services Workers’ Union of the Ghana Airports Company Limited demonstrated against it.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Aviation and the Ghana Airports Company Limited, have explained that the capital injection is also required to clear outstanding loans used in constructing Terrminal Three.

Source: Business