13.04.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana Airways Catering Services in financial crisis?

13.04.2005 LISTEN
By Chronicle

The Ghana Airways Catering Services Limited (ACL), which has gained autonomy following the collapse of Ghana Airways Limited, is as well heading for collapse due to corruption and mismanagement, just like what caused the collapse of the Ghanaian Airline.

The Chronicle investigations have revealed that the company is currently facing serious financial crisis, and as a result workers have not been paid their March salaries, with some even owed February salaries.

Further investigations have established that apart from workers' salaries being irregular for the past one year, two out of the three Clinics, which, cater for these workers health needs, Aviation and University Clinics at Legon have placed embargo on them due to huge arrears owed them by ACL.

Cocoa Clinic, the third medical institution that caters for the workers has as well issued a strong-worded demand notice to the ACL authorities, to take immediate steps to settle their huge outstanding arrears within two months or forfeit their services.

The Chronicle investigations revealed further that Cal Merchant Bank, has as well placed embargo on ACL incomes, which comes from 10 airlines and two institutions that patronize their services.

This, our investigation revealed has come about as a result of ACL's huge indebtedness to Cal Merchant Bank, which had been blamed on the corrupt practices of ACL Financial Controller, Mr. Judy Wordey, who has been asked to proceed on leave.

In an interview with Mr. Wordey he admitted he is on leave but failed to accept that he was compelled to proceed on leave to allow investigation into certain financial malpractices that had been detected in the company.

The ACL has an agreement with the Cal Merchant Bank, to receive their income from International Air Transport Association IATA for deposit and management.

IATA by international aviation law, is the only institution, which has the responsibility to receive ACL income from all the Airline companies such as Britain Airways, Alitalia Airline and Egypt Airways, which patronize their services.

Other Airlines that patronize the services of ACL include, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airways, Jordan Aviation, State Protocol, Ghana Air force and some chartered international airlines.

The paper gathered that the workers sometime last year embarked on a serious demonstration to register their displeasure over the mismanagement and corrupt practices of their management, which was almost collapsing the company.

We gathered that the said demonstration was so embarrassing to the government that officials from the National Security Council (NSC) and other top government officials were called upon to persuade the workers to end their protest.

An angry worker speaking to the Chronicle, alleged that, “ The Minister of Roads and Transport, Hon. Richard Anane, and other top government officials are aware of the scale of corruption that exists here, yet they have sat unconcerned.”

The General Manager of ACL Mr. David Brewelt in a telephone interview with The Chronicle would not answer any of the questions that were put to him.

“Tell me who gave you this information and don't publish anything about my company or I report you to the Minister of Roads and Transport,” Mr. Brewelt warned The Chronicle A number of the staff, who spoke to the paper maintained they cannot sit down for their corrupt Managers to run down the company and have planned to embark on another demonstration if their salaries are paid on time starting from next month.

The workers however praised Mr. Brewelt for his good management practices since he assumed duty recently.

“Mr. Brewelt's management practices have exposed a number of corrupt practices of the Ghanaian officials who are in top position, leading to Wordey proceeding on leave”.

Another serious issue that could be identified among the workers was very low morale within the workforce, which if is not solved could deal a big blow to the only surviving subsidiary of the collapsed Ghana Airways.