Retirees hijack Ghana Airports Company

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….No staff promotions in 21 years  

The Herald has uncovered a troubling situation at the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), where senior management positions, have been taken over by individuals who have exceeded the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

This influx of retirees, has resulted in a stagnation of staff promotions, with some employees remaining in the same roles for over 21 years, creating tension within the state-owned GACL.

Among the identified individuals is Captain (Rtd) Budu Koomson, aged over 70, serving as the Special Assistant Adviser to the Managing Director.

His appointment is perceived as a reward for his involvement in bringing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Nana Akufo-Addo to power. Despite changes in Managing Directors over the years, Koomson continues to hold his position without any blemish.

Similarly, Colonel (Rtd) Emmanuel Akohene Mensah, aged 69, serves as the Director of Aviation Security.

Additionally, Yaw Appiah-Danquah, aged 63, the Director of Airports Planning and Projects, and Emmanuel Akotoa Fianko, aged 64, the Group Executive in charge of Procurement, have also retained their positions with no indications of departure.

Complicating matters is the government’s decision to remove the current Managing Director, Pamela Djamson–Tettey, allegedly to facilitate major policies, including the disposal of prime Airport Lands in Accra for the Airport City 2 Project.

Heaven Builders Limited, owned by Benedict Peters, a friend of the Akufo-Addo family, is expected to act as the Anchor Developer.

The disposal of the airport lands, priced at US$85 million for 45 years, raises concerns as Benedict Peters pushes for a counter-proposal of 62.14 acres for 99 years at a significantly reduced value, described by analysts as detrimental to the country’s interests.

Despite multiple valuation reports supporting a higher price, efforts by Mr Adom-Otchere and Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, seem determined to favour Heaven Builders Limited.

Heaven Builders Limited, owned by Benedict Peters, has connections to the Akufo-Addo family and has been previously involved in controversial dealings, such as deploying an expensive COVID-19 testing facility at KIA during the pandemic.

 Peters’ attempt to secure valuable land at KIA for a fraction of its worth is raising eyebrows and highlighting potential conflicts of interest within the government.

The juicy state lands near the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the name of GACL, is being given out to a Nigerian-owned company; Heaven Builders Limited, which is using some Ghanaians as fronts. 

The Ghana Institute of Surveyors is reported to have priced a 1.7 acre of the airport lands for over US$6.3million, as far back as 2019, but Heaven Builders owned by Benedict Peters, a friend of the Akufo-Addo family, has pegged the current value of an acre of the land at a paltry US$1.3million on average.

Benedict Peters is a friend of Edward Akufo-Addo alias “Bumpty”, a younger brother of the President.

Ghana Airports is giving out 38.41 acres of the land to anchor holders at US$85 million for 45 years, but the influential Benedict Peters has insisted on having 62.14 acres for 99 years in its counter-proposal which analysts have described as inimical to the interest of the country.

This means that the land – 62.14 acres – which is supposed to be sold at US$139 million, the valuation of GACL is going to be US$85 million, which is rather the cost of the 38.41 acres of the airport lands.

But going by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, which priced 1.7 acres of the land at over US$ 6.3 million as of 2019, Benedict Peters should be coughing more than US$139 million. 

The land was part of a 272-acre land the Tony Lithur-led board under the John Mahama administration, got vested in the name of the state and leased to GACL for 99 years. 

Despite multiple valuation reports against Benedict Peters’ counteroffer on the transaction, Mr Adom-Otchere and the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, are leaving no stone unturned to give out the land to Heaven Builders Limited, who are to be anchor holders and will be leasing the prime lands to private developers.

The Herald’s sources at the Presidency, have revealed Heaven Builders Limited, as owned by Benedict Peters, the owner of Frontier Healthcare Services Limited which deployed a COVID-19 testing facility at KIA in the heat of the pandemic and turned out to be the most expensive testing mechanism in the world.

Benedict Peters, a Nigerian national, very connected to the Akufo-Addo family, has sought to use his connections to bulldoze his way for access to KIA’s juicy land for a pittance.

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