Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Aviation has stated that the Board of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)turned down the offer from LCD Worldwide to disinfect the airports due to unacceptable cost.
"LCB had earlier offered to undertake the disinfection exercise at the Airports at a cost of $19 million, recoverable through a 20 dollar charge per round trip to be borne by air passengers which would further add to a higher ticket cost for travelers," he said.
The Minister said this in Accra during a press briefing to refute allegations from executives of Ghana Trade Union Association, accusing him and Mr Yaw Kwakwa, the Managing Director, GACL, of diverting a contract meant to LCB Worldwide for the disinfection of airports.
To help appreciate the financial implication of the exchange rate, LCB, after investing the initial amount, would be drawing from passengers, the equivalent of GHC325 million per year.
These margins, the Minister said, were guaranteed in perpetuity, as the proposal stipulated no term limit, which was contrary to the guidance and standards established by the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on aviation-related charges.
According to the Minister, by the standards and procedures of the Ministry and its agencies, LCB Worldwide had no contractual relations with the GACL, and the accusation of contract diversion was palpably false.
"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 even though it welcomes companies interested in any aspect of business in the sector, which they qualify to undertake, especially the likes of LCB," he said.
The GUTA executives have accused the Minister of taking the safety and lives of their members who transact business at the Airports for granted by refusing to adhere to a directive from Mr Kwaku Agyeman, the Minister of Health through a letter dated May 17, 2019 directed to take steps to comply with International Legislation concerning International Health Regulations for disinfection of Ghana's Airports.
They argued that it was the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service that had jurisdiction over all matters relating to Health and disinfection at the Airports and not the Ministry of Aviation and the Ghana Airports Company Limited.
The Minister responded to comments by the GUTA executives saying ''matters of Aviation policy and Airport management principles and standards, as well as internationally approved procedures, are highly specialized and managed by the Ministry and GACL".
The Minister conceded that even though LCB had a contract with the Ministries of Transport and Health, the scope of work to undertake that contract was for the disinfection of the ports of Tema and Takoradi, and not Airports, which were not under the purview of the two Ministries.
"The safety and security has always been our priority. I have demonstrated excellence since assuming leadership of the sector in 2018. Ghana attained an effective implementation score of 89.89 per cent, the highest by an African country at the time, after an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in April 2019."
He said at the ICAO's 40th Triennial Assembly in Montréal, Canada, in October 2019, Ghana was recognised and became the only country after Qatar to receive awards for aviation safety and security.