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General News of Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Source: Starr FM

Airports staff petition Akufo-Addo over privatisation moves


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Workers of the Ghana Airports Company have petitioned President Akufo-Addo over plans by the Aviation minister to privatise management of airports in the country.

According to the workers, despite verbal assurances by the minister and government, there are still signs and overtures that suggest the privatization effort with the Turkish company TAV Airport Holding is still on the table.

In a petition to the President sighted by Starr News, the aggrieved workers said the suspicion of government plans to privatise the company has already depressed staff of the firm.

“Your Excellency, The Minister of Aviation’s press statement dated April 17th, 2019, in a response to a leaked cabinet memo detailing government’s intention of handing over the management of the Kotoka International Airport(KIA), to a private partner, has left the teeming workers in a complete state of despondency knowing what privatization had done to several organizations in this country .

“Mr President, the management of the GACL has demonstrated a clear understanding of the airport business. This is evident in the consistent posting of profit since 2011 in spite of the financial challenges on inception of the company.

“Mr President, so for the minister to suggest that the ministry is considering an offer to partner with Ghana Airports Company Limited to provide management services to manage the financial and operational functions for the development of the company, has no basis at all,” the petition said.

It further raised concerns over the decision by management to private the Important Persons Lounge (CIP) of the airport.

“Mr President, we find it difficult to understand why the commercially driven company like the GACL will outsource a facility that will directly generate revenue for the company.

“The design and construction of the flagship, Terminal 3, provided for a Commercially Important Persons(CIP) lounge. The objective of the CIP is to attract patronage from business/affluent community who will enjoy a range of services including a seamless facilitation at premium fee”.

TAV Airport Holding Company Limited per a cabinet memo in possession of Starrfm.com.gh will be in charge of the “day to day operations, including facility maintenance and fees collections.”

The aim of the proposal, according to the leaked cabinet document, is “to help bring about physical development of the airport enclave and transform the KIA into a world class airport with improved managerial efficiency.”

The document prepared by the Aviation Minister for Cabinet consideration said under its Concession Agreement clause that: “As payment for their services, the concessionaires receive a percentage of the gross revenues from the operation of the airport but are required to pay the airport owner the greater of this percentage amount or a minimum annual guaranteed amount.”

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