20.04.2005 General News

Scandal Looming At Chief Of Staff's Office

By Jean Y. T. Lukaz
Scandal Looming At  Chief Of Staff's Office
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GIA = Ghana Airways Assets + 30% shares + 100% Management (- $180m Debt [to be paid by tax payers])! The late Ghana Airways have affected the country as a tourism destination and the people whose lives depended on it. The Bid for Ghana Airways was tendered by five(5) companies: Ghana International Airlines (51/49), Kenyan Airways/KLM (40/60), Corporate Trade Solutions (100%), Ghana Air Partners (40/60) and Global Air Group (25/75). Unfair Bidding Terms: GIA eventually won the bid, but it is now appearing that the conditions for take-over have been flawed as some presidential aides are making their cuts. The old condition was for all bidders to take over all debts of the erstwhile Ghana Airways, but none of them were allowed to bid again under the new terms whereby the Government of Ghana would take over the debts of Ghana Airways. GIA's offer was accepted, as they won the heart of the overseer under the aforesaid unfair terms. Animal Farm is probably a better place for such deals as some animals are more equal than others. Dr. Richard Anane, minister for Roads, Highways & Transport, announced the acceptance of an offer from Ghana International Airlines (GIA) for the formation of the new National Carrier on the basis that (he confirmed) the Government of Ghana would be responsible for settling all former debts of Ghana Airways, and that the assets of Ghana Airways would be passed to the new company, GIA, which would be designated as the new National Carrier for Ghana. Dr. Anane perjured himself under oath during his vetting. When cross-examined as to the unfairness of not giving a common ground for all bidders for Ghana Airways on the new basis (which stipulated that the debt was now to be met by the Government), his answer was an assumption that everybody knew, since 2001, that the Government would be responsible for these debts. The debt of Ghana Airways ($US180m) is now the burden of poor Ghanaian taxpayers, instead of them being absorbed by GIA, as a prior condition. One wonders what the Government of Ghana gains from taking over a debt that could be borne by companies that had them in their proposals as such. It appears the jumble sale has earned its name as GIA takes over all assets of Ghana Airways with a 100% management stake in the new company whilst divesting itself from all debts of Ghana Airways. Transparency and Accountability (causing financial loss to the State) KLM owes Ghana Airways some royalties. A cheque of $2.9m was ready as part payment but the cheque has wandered off from the Ghana Airways Account at STANCHART. KLM was not going to pay the cheque into any other account unless there was a guarantee of immunity and likewise the bankers who would not make any transfers. A presidential aide whose hands have been tainted with Ghana Airways is still in the business… and this time the royalties and debt of $180m are hot issues that Ghanaians and the NPP government should open their eyes to. The aides may have kept this secret from the President and their apparent involvement in the concentric triangle of the Presidents office, Chief of Staff, and another has cooked a national meal of Ghana Airways for only two (2) people to eat. Diversionary tactics are being used to keep the president busy. Insiders from the castle are worried about the future of this country with a blindfolded President and the truth has been buried with the NRC. Innocent people and their businesses are being targeted for unearthing vital information in this aviation scam. What this means is Ghana's tourism shall continually be affected by these aviation and castle wars especially with the Minister of the MOTMCC losing favour at the top. It is probably better for an individual to be victimised than to think well of an industry that could lift us from our quagmire of debt. Or a presidential aide that pools a percentage of all contracts awarded into party coffers could remain a presidential favourite and exercise unlimited power to intimidate Ghanaians, businessmen and foreign investors. Championing Unfair Competition Global Air Group, one of the competitive bidders for the uncompetitive bid has now acquired their Air Carrier's License (ACL) under Afra Airlines. Afra Airlines' ACL experienced a long delay (8 months) as usual, from May 2004 to January 2005, during which GIA's ACL was unusually fast track and was approved on unrestricted terms, whilst the terms of issue of Afra Airline's ACL (applied for earlier) were harshly restrictive such that it made any commercial operations as listed in their approved business plan severely limited or impossible. Afra Airlines was issued with an ACL to operate non-scheduled flights worldwide for cargo - which means only adhoc flights to different destinations which prevents building up routes on a scheduled basis and a solid business - and for passengers scheduled services only for domestic flights - which is not practical for Afra's nominated Boeing 747 jumbo jet aircraft which were nominated in its business plan to the GCAA that was approved. On the same day (3rd February 2005) that Afra Airlines announced their commercial co-operation agreement with CTK CityLink to run the domestic routes as licensed, an order was issued, involving Dr Anane's Ministry, leading to the suspension of the ACL of Afra Airlines. CTK CityLink Air Carrier License was immediately threatened by a revocation notice as they received warnings from above not to have any dealings with Afra Airlines as per the announcement details. The Point newspaper, with a circulation of 200 copies (which has apparent connections to Dr Anane and his Ministry through his Special Assistant Mr Ken Anku and his brother), has been juxtapositioning Afra Airlines and GIA as the devil and the angel respectively. This involves libellous material culled from the internet with no effort to investigate from the Australian Embassy or verify the details with Mr Luke Norman Butler, the CEO of Afra Airlines. The Point alleges the revocation of all aviation licences granted Afra Airlines which is not true. The connections between the said newspaper, GIA and Dr Anane give the stories no credibility other than to kill GIAs potential competitor even before the race begins and also to conceal the real details of the takeover bid from Ghanaians. In the interim Afra Airlines in aspiration of her goals has from the onset injected investments in the quantum of approximately $1 million locally and additional commencement commitments internationally in excess of $8 million to date. Afra Airlines current costs for employment of its 40 Ghanaian staff and its direct operational costs in Accra continue at a rate in excess of 100 million cedis per month which has continued for 6 months since October, 2004.

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