Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda

The Aviation Ministry has debunked reports about a supposed diversion of contract earlier awarded to LCB Worldwide (LCB) for the disinfection of airports in Ghana.

In those media reports, it is alleged by Messrs. David Kwadwo Amoateng and Nana Poku, who are the Greater Accra Regional Branch Chairman and General Secretary of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) that the Minister of Aviation and the Managing Director of the Ghana Aviation Company Limited (GACL) had diverted a contract that was awarded to LCB for the disinfection of the airports to another company.

However, in a statement signed by the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda says the information is “blatantly false” and should be treated with contempt.

According to him, this is just a ploy to force the GACL and the Ministry of Aviation to employ the services of LCB 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.”

In the statement, the Minister clarified that the LCB has no contractual relationship whatsoever with the GACL nor the Ministry to undertake any form of disinfection exercise at the various airports.

He, however, explained that the LCB did have a contract with the Ministry of Transport and Health to among other things, disinfect Shipping ports and not airports.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we state emphatically that neither the Minister for Aviation nor the MD of GACL has diverted any contract for LCB, and may we also add that the latter has no contract with either MoA or GACL to undertake any form of disinfection or installation of any types of gadgets, as the Governing Board of GACL has not approved such a contract for LCB;

“ 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.”

Indeed, the LCB had earlier offered to undertake a disinfection exercise for the airports at a cost of US$19million, recoverable through a $20 charge per round trip to be borne by air passengers.

However the offer was rejected by the governing board of the GACL as it would have inadvertently led to a higher cost of air travel.

“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 GH₵ 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.”

However, despite the misunderstanding, the Ministry of information wants to make clear that the LCB can continue “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.”