Mr Joseph Adda, the Minister of Aviation, has refuted allegation accusing him and Mr Yaw Kwakwa, the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company (GACL), of diverting a contract meant to LCB Worldwide for the disinfection of airports.
The Minister said: “By the standards and procedures of the Ministry and its agencies, LCB Worldwide (LCB) has no contractual relationship with the GACL, and the accusation of contract diversion is blatantly false.”
“We nonetheless concede that LCB has a contract with the Ministries of Transport and Health, and the scope of work to undertake that contract is squarely for the disinfection of the ports of Tema and Takoradi, and not Airports, which are not under the purview of the two ministries, which entered into the contract with LCB,” he said.
A statement signed by Mr Adda and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the allegation was designed to force the Ministry and GACL to contract the company’s services under duress.
“The Ministry and its agencies will not countenance any engagement that does not go through due process as provided for under the Public Procurement Act even though it welcomes companies interested in any aspect of business in the sector, which they qualify to undertake, especially the likes of LCB,” he said.
The Minister explained that LCB had earlier offered to undertake the disinfection exercise at the Airports at a cost of $19 million, recoverable through a $20 charge per round trip to be borne by air passengers.
However, the Governing Board of GACL did not find the offer of LCB acceptable and turned down the offer, as it would further add to a higher ticket cost for travellers.
To help appreciate the financial implication of the exchange rate, LCB, after investing this initial amount, would be drawing from passengers, the equivalent of GH¢325 million per year.
These margins, the Minister said, were guaranteed in perpetuity, as the proposal stipulated no term limit, which runs contrary to the guidance and standards established by the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organisation on aviation-related charges.
“The Minister for Aviation has demonstrated excellence since assuming leadership of the sector in 2018. Ghana attained an effective implementation score of 89.89 per cent, the highest by an African country at the time, after an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in April 2019.”
At ICAO’s 40th Triennial Assembly in Montréal, Canada, in October 2019, this feat was duly recognised when Ghana became the only country after Qatar to receive awards for aviation safety and security, with Mr Adda receiving the distinguished honour of being the first Ghanaian Aviation Minister to address an ICAO Assembly”, the statement said.
It said the country’s Kotoka International Airport (KIA) received two prestigious awards during this year’s Airport Service Quality Awards by Airport Council International, the global trade representative of the world’s airports.
Under the leadership of Mr Adda and Mr Kwakwa, KIA topped the ranking as Africa’s ‘Best Airport by Size and Region’ whiles Terminal Three was named the Continent’s ‘Most Improved’ Airport.
The disinfection exercise was necessitated following government’s lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, to prepare the Airports to commence domestic flights after airlines expressed their readiness to begin operations.