Front view of Kotoka International Airport
MANAGEMENT OF the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has reacted to an allegation made recently by former President John Mahama during an interview with Woezor TV to the effect that the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) was for sale.
According to the GACL management in a statement issued in Accra, Mr. Mahama’s claims were all false.
“For the records, Kotoka International Airport is not for sale or being privatized as stated by GACL in an earlier press release. Rather, an unsolicited proposal has been received from a Turkish Consortium which is yet to be considered. It is rather unfortunate that certain figures from the proposal are being used to peddle untruths,” it noted.
It said Mr Mahama had also claimed that an investment of US$500 million was done in KIA. Such claim, the GACL mentioned, was incorrect. It explained that “the amount may be in reference to funding of projects in all airports including a US$130 million runway project at the Tamale Airport and US$25 million in a news airport at Ho.”
Also commenting on Mr. Mahama’s assertion that GACL was not able to service loans that it took to develop the airport, it said such a claim was untrue adding that “to date, GACL has met its repayment obligations under the loan facility.”
Further responding to Mr. Mahama’s claim which said “apart from that these loans are insured anyway so if government has not triggered force majeure, the way to go is not to sell off the airport,” the GACL management noted that “It is not government’s responsibility to invoke the force majeure clause. GACL at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the force majeure provision under the loan agreement and has been in discussion with its lenders to meet its obligations. Additionally, government has, under the Covid-19 Relief Programme, extended relief support to GACL.”
Another statement it said Mr. Mahama made was that if KIA was doing about two million passengers a year, then US$100 multiplied by two million passengers would amount to about US$200 million.
Reacting, the GACL stated that airport tax (technically referred to as APSC charges) were applied on departing passengers only and not on total number of passengers.
It said revenues earned from APSC were far less than what was being alluded to.
The former President was also quoted to have said that “government has put in a capping and realignment act. So out of the US$100, they cap it and if the money exceeds 25 per cent of the national budget, all the excess money is put in the Consolidated Fund.”
However, addressing this bit too, management said revenues from GACL were neither capped nor realigned in accordance with the Capping and Realignment Act, adding that monthly reports on Airport Tax (APSC) were forwarded to Ghana Revenue Authority.”
Management of GACL assured the general public that KIA was not for sale and that the vision of making Ghana the preferred aviation hub and leader in airport business in West Africa remained a priority.
BY Samuel Boadi
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Source Author: Daniel Frimpong