Ghana’s Minister for Aviation, Kofi Adda has refuted report that the country’s main airport, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is going to be privatised.
Reports have been rife in the Ghanaian media over government’s intention to cede the management of the Kotoka International Airport to a private company, with some citing a cabinet memo to that effect. But without mincing words, the Minister rejected the claims while answering questions from the media on the matter today during the 3rd AviationGhana Breakfast Meeting at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Accra.
Adda said he was bereft of any decision by government to put the running of the airport into private hands. “I haven’t seen anything credible on that. I’d like to get something credible from whoever is putting this out and they have to explain to me what they mean by privatisation or selling. I don’t know where it’s come from; I don’t know who is out there. I have even heard that it’s been said that they are selling Ghana Airport, I don’t know who you’re going to sell it to, who’s going to buy, for how much, I’m surprised at them,” he insisted
He further stated that government would do whatever it takes to make the Airports Company which runs KIA a viable business outfit that contributes to the development of the country in terms of revenue mobilization and payments of appropriate dividends. “How many times has the Ghana Airport Company paid dividends to the nation? For the last five years, have they paid any dividends to the nation? If there’s going to be any engagement with the Airport Company that would enhance its value and that will enable them to be able to pay dividends to the State it will be something that will be good for us to look at. But at this stage, nobody has formally come to me to talk about what we need to do to privatise,’’ the Minister emphasised.
He averred that as a national asset, government is open to ideas that ensure that the Airport Company is run and protected in the interest of the country. “The government would look at any kinds of arrangements that would improve the value of the assets that we have in the nation. Bear in mind that the President has made it clear that he’s here to protect the public purse and it’s not just about the money, about the treasures but even the assets. So if there is any asset that is state-owned that we have to protect, it will be our duty to enhance the value of that assets. So any kinds of arrangements, any kinds of business plans, any kinds of discussions, any kinds of negotiations, whoever brings them, who proposes the way to improve on the assets that we have to add values on that, we’ll be more than happy to engage them.
The AviationgGhana Breakfast Meeting brings together stakeholders within the aviation industry to deliberate on issues affecting the sector.
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah