By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA
Accra, April 16, GNA - The Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has asked the government to clear rumours of privatising the Ghana Airport Company Limited.
It is also appealing to the government to rescind any decision of possible privatisation of the GACL, if the rumours were true since it would be detrimental to do so.
The PSWU said privatizing an already well-functioning Airport that had become the envy of neighbouring countries in the sub-region, would mean that Ghana could not manage any good thing.
The PSWU said the GACL has been self-sustaining in its management and operations since 2011 when it “stood on its feet” after initial challenges around 2007, when it was decoupled from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr Bernard Adjei, Acting General Secretary of the PSWU of TUC, Ghana, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Tuesday that, the Union as representative of the workers, had picked information that the Government was contemplating to privatise the GACL.
“We have heard rumours and complaints from our members of a purported privatization. And we have approached the Management of the Company which had denied knowledge of such.
“But the PSWU is concerned as a workers’ Union if there should be any contemplation on the part of government to privatize the Company, there is no basis for that” Mr Adjei said.
He said the GACL had over the years proven itself as a viable entity since it was decoupled from the Civil Aviation Authority, having worked to expand infrastructure and posted some acceptable profits annually.
It had also sourced for loan on its own to build the new Terminal three infrastructure that all Ghanaians were proud of and had become the envy of the subregion, solely on the balance sheet of the company without any sovereign guarantee, Mr Adjei stated.
He however indicated that Government could go ahead and seek any partnership it so wished to develop other regional Airports, and the proposed Prampram Airport.
“Of course, we are not entirely opposed to government wanting to bring in private entities to develop the aviation sector. So, if government want private participation it can go in for those who could come in and develop the other regional airports to make Ghana an aviation hub”.
He recounted that the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) was decoupled from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in 2007 as part of the aviation industry reforms and the company without any seed money at the time, relied on revenues from the major airlines for infrastructural development and expansion.
He said the PSWU checks have revealed that GACL had never reneged on payments of any loans ever taken to manage or run the airport, without any successive governments, given any guarantee for those loans.
“It is therefore baffling to us as a Union to hear that GACL is being privatized under the guise of mismanagement and inefficiencies.
“We can unequivocally state that GACL is efficient and effective when it comes to airport management and infrastructural development. This is evident in the successful completion of terminal 3 and consistent posting of profit since 2011.
“We are not at variance with government if they seek a private partner to develop other
airports such as Wa, Ho, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Sunyani and especially, the much talked about Prampram international airport which would be much bigger than the Kotoka international airport.