Former President John Dramani Mahama says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is against attempts by the government to hand over 66% share of the Kotoka International Airport to TAM-SUMMA Consortium, a Turkish company.
According to him, such moves by the government are wrong and must not be stopped.
Speaking in an interview on Woezor TV on Sunday, the former President said while the NDC administration was in power, its valuation report showed that the airport was valued at about GH¢5 billion and so it’s strange that the government intends to cede 66% of its control of the airport to the private company in exchange for $70 million.
“When we were in office, a valuation study of the Kotoka Airport was done and it was valued at over GH¢ 5 billion. It also had an insured value in the region of GH¢3 to GH¢4 billion because a lot of money had been invested in the airport and it had become one of the five best airports in Africa.”
“[Now we are seeing] a strange development where a Turkish company is being given the airport; to take over the airport and run it. For $70 million we are giving 66% of the airport to a Turkish company. We are against it. It is wrong,” John Mahama said.
In July, the Aviation Ministry revealed that the Ministry is considering “a proposed Strategic Partnership Arrangement between GACL and TAV-SUMMA Consortium to improve service delivery and expansion of infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport to achieve Government’s vision of making Ghana the Aviation Hub within the West African Sub-Region”.
The Ministry further disclosed that an Executive Approval had been granted by President Nana Akufo-Addo for the Ministry to facilitate the engagement of the Strategic Partners.
The announcement has since received criticisms from various quarters, including the Minority in Parliament and the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU).
John Mahama, who is the latest to comment on the development said that, with airports being the pride of most countries, it is wrong “to give up our airport like that.”
He said the government can find other ways of raising money to keep the airport functioning other than the currently proposed arrangements with TAM-SUMMA Consortium.
“Even if you sold some of the lands around the airport you will be able to raise far more than $70 million,” he noted.
The former President also suggested that the government should consider triggering clauses within the airport expansion project loan agreement to enable a rescheduling of the facility.