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09.03.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana Airways CEO Is Twisting Facts

By Independent
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Last Friday, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Airways, Mr. Phillip Owusu was at his best in ventriloquism twisting facts about a five-year deal he single-handedly signed with Global Air per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) without recourse to the Ghana Airways board and accusing this paper of publishing untruths about the deal. The theatre for this Commedia dellarte Ventriloquism a la Phillip Owusu was on Kwaku Sakyi-Addo's Front Page on Accra based Joy FM and later on in an interview with Sena Atoklo, also of Joy FM, for that station's news. Of course, it was in reaction to a banner story this paper carried on February 23, 2004 titled: GHANAIR IN ANOHTER BOGUS DEAL…Its for five years. Minister Anane Angry'. In that publication, THE INDEPENDENT informed our readers and Ghanaians about the bare facts that the Ghanair CEO had signed the deal without recourse to the Ghanair board adding that Roads and Transport Minister, Dr. Anane is angry about the way the MoU was signed. Subsequent to that we carried an editorial on the rot at Ghanair and the need to stop it. Just after this, our managing editor received several calls from Mr. Phillip Owusu himself and his secretariat inviting him to a meeting. It was the contention of Mr. Owusu, when he spoke to our Managing Editor on phone, that the Ghanair board and Dr. Anane knew about the MoU he had signed with Global Air and offered to produce documents to that effect. Our Managing Editor therefore appeared in the 5th floor offices of Mr. Owusu at Ghanair's White Avenue offices in Accra where he took issue with our editorial about the fact that he thought our call in that editorial for his removal from office was unfair. Mr. Owusu then moves on to the MoU with Global Air and contented that Dr. Anane knew about it before he (Owusu) signed it. In support of this, he produced a letter dated 4th February 2004 signed by Dr. Anane titled, Ghana Airways Temporary Arrangement with Global Air. The letter reads thus: “Following the interactions the previous week, and the telephone discussion today (04/02/04) on the above subject, it is understood that Ghana Airways is currently in dire need of aircraft to run its international scheduled services.
Global Air has offered to take an opportunistic advantage of her current services of air freighting of cargo to Europe to team up with Ghana Airways to run scheduled flights with its Boeing 747 Combi Aircraft.
While we await completion of due diligence on Global Air, we wish to advise Ghana Airways Management as follows:
Ghana Airways may be mindful of the evaluation of proposals from prospective partners now on-going.
Ghana Airways ma not hat a due diligence has not been concluded on Global Air
Ghana Airways may enter into a non-binding arrangement with Global Air.
That any such arrangement should not exceed six months in view of (i) above
There should be no exclusivity clause in any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ghana Airways and Global Air.
Kindly advise the Ministry of any follow up action that the Board and Management of Ghana Airways will finalize with Global Air.” This letter was copied to the Chief of Staff and the Chairman of the Ghana Airways board.
It is worth noting that contrary to Mr. Owusu's effusions that Dr. Anane knew about the MoU with Global Air contrary tour report, we did not make any such allegation in that report. All that we wrote which was the opening line or lead of that story we published on February 23, 2004 (whose headline has been quoted above) was “in a deal that has already set Roads and Transport Minister, Dr. R.W. Anane on edge, Ghanaair CEO is on the verge of signing a bogus five-year deal in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another baby aviation company called Global Air.”
We hen proceeded in another line in that same story to stat that “In an informed chat with Dr. Anane last week, he expressed concern about development at Ghanair and said efforts are underway by his Ministry to sanitize the situation.
Indeed, why we charged that Dr. Anane was angry about the deal with Global Air was that in his letter to Mr. Owusu quoted above, he had made it clear per (iv) that any such arrangement should not exceed six months in view of (i) above (refer to Dr. Anane's letter).
Yet, the MoU that Mr. Owusu signed with Global Air provides per Section 3 (a) that “Global shall provide and initially operate their B747-SP, serial number 22302 on the routes set out hereunder for a period of not less than five (5) years from the date of commencement of operations on terms hereby agreed.”

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