The Ministry of Aviation has refuted claims in the media alleging that a disinfection contract for the airports in the country was diverted.
Earlier media reports indicated that Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda and Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GCAL) had diverted the contract that had been awarded to LCB Worldwide for the disinfection of the Kotoka International Airport, Kumasi Airport and others, to Zoomlion Ghana.
Last month, Zoomlion was tasked to disinfected the airports in the country, which later made it possible to the reopening of the airports for the resumption of domestic flights, following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown.
In a statement issued to the media, the Minister for Aviation explained that “the allegation is designed to force the Ministry and GACL to contract the company’s services under duress.”
“In-as-much as the Ministry and its agencies welcome companies interested in any aspect of business in the sector which they qualify to undertake, especially the likes of LCB, which may have specialized products and services relevant to the operations of the aviation industry, the Ministry and its agencies will not countenance any engagement that does not go through due process as provided for under the Public Procurement Act,” the Minister stated.
“By the standards and procedures of the sector Ministry and its agencies, LCB has no contractual relationship with GACL, and the accusation of contract diversion is blatantly false,” he added.
“We nonetheless concede that LCB has a contract with the Ministries of Transport and Health, and the scope of work to undertake that contract, as we understand it, is squarely for the disinfection of the ports of Tema and Takoradi, and not airports, which are not under the purview of the two ministries which entered into the contract with LCB,” Mr. Adda said.
The statement noted that, LCB had earlier offered to undertake a similar exercise at a cost of US$19million, recoverable through a US$20 charge per round trip to be borne by air passengers. However, the Governing Board of GACL did not find this acceptable and turned down the offer, as it would further add to a higher ticket cost for travelers;
“To help appreciate the financial implication of this at today’s exchange rate, LCB, after investing this initial amount, would be drawing from passengers, the equivalent of GHc 325million per year. These margins are guaranteed in perpetuity, as the proposal stipulates no term limit. This runs contrary to the guidance and standards established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ICAO on aviation-related charges.” Mr. Adda stated.
“The disinfection undertaken to enable the domestic flights to commence on 1st May, 2020, which had been delayed for two weeks to ensure that the laid down health protocols were followed, does not in any way prevent LCB from continuing with its bid to make installations of appropriate gadgets, subject to approval by the Governing Board of GACL, and giving consideration to costs and related matters,” the Minister added.