When President Nana Akufo-Addo announced to the whole world measures his country will put in place to ensure Covid19 does not be imported into Ghana, he was very emphatic by ensuring that those measures which would receive presidential order would be enforced to the latter.
Being the first in sub-Saharan Africa to put in place effective testing process for travellers to Ghana and getting results in less than 20 minutes, Nana Akufo-Addo was praised by his peers across the African continent and indeed across the world.
The testing measures put in place include the following:
- All Travellers to Ghana must have a PCR Test not more than 72 hours of boarding the Aircraft to Ghana and must hold PCR test certificate which would be verified by Ghanaian authorities should there be a hint of fraud. The President was very emphatic in his broadcast of these orders which would apply to all, including returning Ghanaian citizens, holders of Resident Permits of Ghana and bonafide visitors and diplomats.
- All nationals including Ghanaian citizens and those with resident permits of Ghana must have a PCR Test (plus certificate from a laboratory recognised by the Government of Ghana) but paid for the test by the individual who wish to travel out of the country. Nana Akufo Addo also stated that those Ghanaian nationals and Resident Permit Holders would be Exempted from having a “TEST AT KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT” which carries a mandatory charge of $150 USD. Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, was very clear of this executive order which he broadcast to the people of Ghana and indeed the world, including the major airlines that flies to Ghana.
As already stated above, President Akufo-Addo’s announcement was hailed across the African continent as innovative and was swiftly replicated by many countries, including majority of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa who also started to open their air space, using Ghana’s model of testing air travellers to ensure Covid19 would not be imported into their countries and the African continent.
This writer who is national of United Kingdom, but in addition, holds a Ghanaian passport as dual national (because his late parents were Ghanaian citizens), flew to Accra on 6th September 2020, by following all the above Covid19 protocols and the directions of the airline (British Airways), Ghana Government executive directions, by having a PCR Test done in London, within 72 hours of traveling to Ghana and in possession of PCR Test Certificate.
When this writer arrived at Accra Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, he went through the Covid19 procedure and paid $150 USD for the test at the airport. This writer tested negative at the airport and was allowed to continue with his journey in-country.
On 20th September 2020, this writer had another Covid19 travel Test at Lancet Medical Laboratory at East Legon, Accra, Ghana. The certificate was issued on 21st September 2020 and on 22nd September 2020 (for 2 days) this writer travelled to Abuja, Nigeria, aboard Africa World Air Flight No AW 260, to attend an important meeting with a company that has a business contract with the company that this writer works for. At Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, this writer was again exempted by the Nigerian NCDC personal and was admitted into Abuja, Nigeria, because he had a valid PCR certificate that was issued by Lancet Medical Lab in Accra, Ghana, that was less than 72 hours.
On 24th September 2020, the writer, (after his meeting in Abuja on 23rd September 2020) made a returned journey to Ghana through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria. At the airport, again this writer was exempted because his journey falls within the 7 days exemption and was allowed to board the aircraft, African World Air Flight Number AW 251 from Abuja to Accra.
On arrival at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, the Ghana Covid19 Health Officials at KIA ask this writer to pay $150 USD to have another Covid19 test. Despite protestations and PROVE OF EVIDENCE, INCLUDING A YOUTUBE OF THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA’S DIRECTIVE AND GHANA COVID19 WEBSITE STATEMENT, which stated clearly that those holding Ghanaian passport and returning residents, including foreign diplomats who have travelled out of Ghana for less than 7 days are exempted, they still persisted this writer to pay $150. As a matter of fact, there were about five of two sets of officials along the way to the passport control who stopped this writer from ascertaining if he is indeed exempted from paying the $150USD for second Covid19 test. Some of the passengers who witnessed the protestations of this writer gave their telephone numbers to this writer as witnesses of the argument that ensued between this writer and the Covid19 Officials at KIA who were mostly interested in getting arriving passengers to pay for Covid19 test. When this writer demanded to see the HEAD OF THE HEALTH AT KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, those officials, including other personnel at the airport declined.
This question this writer needs an answer for, is the Government of Ghana aware of the harassment of Ghanaian Citizens to pay the Covid19 test who are returning residents and diplomats after travelling out of Ghana for less than 7 days? This is a very serious issue, which this writer deemed as FRAUD being committed in the name of the Government of Ghana, unless and until the Ghana Government comes out to either DENY OR CLARIFY all the anomalies raised above by this writer, this would be seen by many as fraud. The above story is not misrepresentation but true facts of what happened at Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport in the evening of 24th September 2020 when this writer returned to Ghana aboard Africa World Air AW 215 from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria. CCTV at the Covid19 section of the Kotoka International Airport would vindicate this writer, should any of the officials denies this assertion.