Upgrading the Managerial Status of KIA Is Very Significant
Creating unnecessary fear, panic and public disaffection for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is what the leaders of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) do best. The NDC has absolutely no comprehensive and/or constructive agenda for the development of the country, short of using lies and mischief to win power in order to allot themselves double salaries at the expense of the hardworking and woefully underpaid Ghanaian civil servant and the blue-collar worker. In the latest of such creation of fear, panic, and disaffection, the NDC leaders have been circulating rumors claiming that the Akufo-Addo Administration was on the verge of selling Ghana’s main and only international airport, namely, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), to a Turkish airport management company (See “Aviation Ministry Details Why KIA Is Not for Sale” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 4/20/19).
The Ministry of Aviation has swiftly and vehemently denied that any such move is in the works. Rather, the latter ministry has released a press statement arguing that the operatives of the NDC, largely the parliamentary opposition members, are, once again, at their jaded game of boyishly playing mischief. What is, in fact, being informally discussed within the government, and that which was obviously leaked by the parliamentary opposition leaders to the media, is the imperative need and the possibility of partnering with an experienced and efficient airport management company with an enviable track-record to assist in the facilitation of the necessary upgrading of the KIA, in order to make the latter establishment more competitive to be able to capture its fair share of both the West-African sub-regional commercial aviation market, as well as the continent-wide aviation market and beyond.
Now, it bears emphasizing that in a highly technological twenty-first-century global aviation culture, it only makes good sense for the government to be at least one step ahead of the competition in strategizing for industrial efficiency, managerial competence and foresighted leadership in any entrepreneurial sub-sector. What is equally important to recall is that when it comes to the developmentally regressive and economically destructive selling off of publicly managed state-owned business establishments or industries, the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress has absolutely no rival in postcolonial Ghanaian history. To be certain, it grossly understates matters to observe that it was the leadership of the NDC that systematically and recklessly destroyed the hitherto robust Ghanaian industrial base.
And on the latter count, of course, we are referring to the patently and blatantly unconscionably criminal decision taken by the key operatives of the Jerry John Rawlings-led government of the National Democratic Congress to divest the state managerial control of the Nkrumah-founded Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC) throughout the 1990s, under the IMF-World Bank’s so-called Structural Adjust Program (SAP). Indeed, this economically destructive Bretton-Woods establishment-instigated program, which clearly aimed at literally putting Ghanaians and Africans in our place, that is, the lower rudimentary rungs of the global industrial ladder or setup, might have actually begun a bit earlier. This is very ironic because it was precisely for this reason of the obviously mischievous neocolonialist engineering of Third-World economies by the Industrial West that then-Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings seized as a pretext to smugly and self-righteously overthrow the Hilla (Babini) Limann-led democratically elected People’s National Party on December 31, 1981.
At any rate, state-owned and operated establishments such as the Kotoka International Airport are security zones and/or installations that cannot be facilely allowed to be either owned or fully partnered by any private entrepreneur, foreign or local, but under the most legally stringent and nationally protective arrangements. And so it is very heartening to learn that even if the government decides to partner with any foreign firm/firms to run or manage the KIA, the ownership control of the one and only international airport in the country will still be retained by the Government of Ghana.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 21, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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