Hotel Kufuor To Be Opened In February
.... In Readiness For Ghana @ 50
… Fittings And Furnishing Imported Tax Free?
… To Be Named “African Regent Hotel”
The “wonkye n'di” continues. First to come to the public domain, via an exposé by The Ghanaian Lens, was a multi-million dollar contract awarded under the aegis of Dr. Wereko-Brobbey's [email protected] to the nephew of the Chief of Staff to supply some forty Jaguar cars as well as a number of Rover cars.
Then, obviously with a view to creating a misleading impression of transparency, was the public advert that made it clear that the woman who is Dr. Wereko-Brobbey's immediate ex-wife was awarded the contract to be in charge of the choral festival for the nation's fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
Not to be left out of the sharing of the anniversary cake that the 20 million dollars earmarked for the celebration has obviously come to represent to people in the high echelons of the NPP, it is now emerging that the infamous Hotel Kufuor has been earmarked to host a sizeable proportion of the official visitors expected in the country to take part in the celebrations.
The Ghanaian Lens can today reveal that come February (the exact date is yet to be confirmed), Hotel Kufuor, the hotel that is supposedly owned by Chief Kufuor, the eldest son of the president, will officially open for business. But Chief Kufuor told The Ghanaian Lens in a telephone interview, “it is not necessarily true” that the hotel would be ready for business by February. When asked if the hotel would be open for business in time enough to host some of the expected visitors, Chief Kufuor replied, “we are working towards that” and added that “it [hotel Kufuor] might be” ready in time to host some of the anniversary guests.
Asked to confirm information available to The Ghanaian Lens that hotel Kufuor will be officially named African Regent Hotel, Chief Kufuor replied “you are close, but that is not it.”
He however declined to reveal the name to The Ghanaian Lens. Chief Kufuor is the 'on-paper' owner of Airport West Hospitality Ltd, the Holding Company that officially owns hotel Kufuor.
It is believed that the use of 'Africa' as part of the name of the hotel is for the purpose of marketing the hotel internationally as one of the best hotels on the continent so as to attract massive patronage especially via international conferences to enable the owners to quickly reap the benefits of their “investments”.
Chief Kufuor turned down a request from The Ghanaian Lens to be granted permission to tour the hotel with the excuse that he had turned down similar requests from other persons so he could not grant permission for The Ghanaian Lens to tour hotel. He however promised not to forget The Ghanaian Lens when an official tour of the hotel is arranged.
But Chief Kufuor's excuse flies in the face of the facts, as it is a matter of public record that the Editor of the Daily Guide newspaper, Mrs. Gina Ama Blay, was afforded an opportunity to tour the hotel, after which she wrote some very tantalising pieces about her experience.
Meanwhile, information available to this paper has it that the hotel is being readied for the hosting of a sizeable number of the guests of the President expected to be arriving in the country to help Kufuor justify the billions of the nations scarce resources that is being used to line the pockets of party apparatchiks and members of the Kufuor family and their close associates by way of fat contracts for various jobs in relation to the 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Ghanaian Lens scouts who have been silhouetting around the HIPC and Spanner Junctions for a while now have confirmed the day and night activities of the hordes of workers who have been engaged to make sure the hotel is ready for opening by hook or crook before Kufuor's visitors start arriving by the 1st of March.
Indeed, the workers are being driven like slaves and some of them complained to the paper's scouts that they are not getting adequate overtime for the extra work.
Apparently mindful of the President's instructions to his appointees not to forget where their breads are buttered, officials in charge of organising hotel accommodations for the expected visitors are not forgetting the President's own household. After all if they must not forget where their bread is buttered, can they forget the President who appointed them?
The Ghanaian Lens has learnt that elaborate schemes have been put in place to ensure that the hotel is open for business in time for the anniversary cake so as to ensure that the owners of Hotel Kufuor rake in billions of cedis via the astronomical bills that the hotel is expected to present to the state for hosting the guests of the President. A classic case of “kokofu ball, wu nua nim a, yen passie wu”.
Indeed, a cursory glance at the building by anybody who walks or drives past the HIPC Junction would paint a picture in the minds eye of a building that is being worked on by the minute to meet a certain expectation.
The Ghanaian Lens Investigative Team is checking up on information that has it that the fittings and furnishing were imported into the country without Airport West Hospitality Ltd paying a penny by way of tax for reasons that are too obvious, which, if it proves to be true, would mean that someone could be held responsible for wilfully causing very huge financial loss to the state.
It can not be forgotten how the forceful purchase of the hotel by Chief Kufuor from its original owner, Anthony Saoud, hit the headlines and stayed there for months especially after the one-time economic advisor and “intimate” friend of the president, Ms. Giselle Yajtzi, made startling revelations from her base in New York as to how Chief Kufuor was only fronting for his father and that John Agyekum Kufuor is the real owner of the property.
It can also not be forgotten how Kwabena Agyepong, the then Spokesperson for the President, actually lied to the people of Ghana that nobody in the Kufuor household had anything to do with the hotel, only for Chief Kufuor to issue a statement days after accepting ownership of the hotel.
Of course, the forming of a questionable consortium almost overnight by Chief Kufuor who is not known to have any had track record in business, to raise over $8 million to purchase the hotel, also threw up lots of questions as to whether the president could have abused his position to provide his son with the financial wherewithal with Prudential Bank and National Investment Bank featuring prominently in the dodgy financial arrangement.
The Ghanaian Lens gathers that an attempt to seek financial support from a subsidiary of the World Bank by Airport West Hospitality Ltd to give a good financial image to the company did not see the light of day as the World Bank subsidiary was not satisfied with the documentation.
“The World Bank subsidiary threw out the proposal because the business plan did not look clean,” The Ghanaian Lens source said.
The HIPC and Spanner Junction enclave is certainly being turned into a money making zone for the Kufuors as Chief Kufuor owns Hotel Kufuor, John Agyekum Kufuor is believed to own the Villagio Project opposite his house, and Nana Ama Kufuor, the daughter of the president, is said to be the owner of huge shopping mall (set to be the biggest in West Africa) project that is coming up at the Spanner Junction.
At this rate, it would not be surprising if by the time Kufuor leaves office, his family would be one of the richest families in Africa. And they would not have made the money because the family has a long history of making money, but it would be because John Agyekum Kufuor, for the period that he stayed as president of Nkrumah's Ghana, made it a policy not to love Ghanaians more than himself and his family members.
The believe of most Ghanaians that the Ghana @ 50 celebration is just a conduit for Wereko Brobbey and a few other people belonging to the NPP side of the divide to enrich themselves is becoming a reality as day in day out the chips are falling in place.