The Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has accused the Minister of Aviation, Hon. Joseph Kofi Addah of putting the lives of traders, families, customers and Ghanaians as a whole in grave danger for supporting the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) in its failure to allow the installation of disinfection systems at the Airport.
According to GUTA, since Local flights are operating, there is every reason for disinfection systems, and that the Ministry of Health has a contract to put these disinfection systems at the port but due to the ignorance of the GACL and Ministry of Aviation these things have not been fixed.
Addressing a Press Conference to respond to the Minister of Aviation’s recent letter to some media publications on the refusal of GACL MD to give space to LCB Worldwide to install the disinfection system at the Airport, Both Kwadwo Amoateng G/A Chairman of GUTA and his Secretary, Nana Poku said it was wrong for the Minister to allow a company which has no permission and supervision of the Ghana Health Service or the Ministry of Health to disinfect the Airport.
“You broke Public Health Act 851, but more importantly again, Disinfection Health Service is not a bunch of guys, walking around and spaying left, right and centre. Disinfection Health Service is a completely automated high-tech system. This state-of-the-art disinfection delivery system will cover everything from baggage’s to air cargo. There is a world of difference between what you have done and what the WHO requirement is.”
They also took exception to the minister’s statement that GUTA Greater Accra and taxpayers, as well as citizens of Ghana, have no right to pass judgment on educated professional civil servants.
According to them, “Let’s not forget that civil servants are paid by taxpayers like us. GUTA Greater Accra leadership got involved because of a petition we have received from our traders who feared for their lives; their families, their customers’ lives and Ghanaians as a whole. You can-not discredit our institution for looking out for the interest of our tax paying trading members.”
“You accuse GUTA Greater Accra, and you accuse Chairman Amoateng and Nana poku by saying that we are ill-informed that we are out to get you and the Manging Director of GACL. You are once again wrong Mr. Minister. It is obvious from the way you act, and the statements you release that, GUTA Greater Accra and its Executives are better informed than you are. You are right about GUTA Greater Accra causing disaffection. With the blessing of our lord, GUTA Greater Accra will always cause disaffection against incompetence and negligence to any official who is doing harm to our great country.”
GUTA Greater Accra leadership also averred that “We may come from humble beginnings, we may not be as educated as officials like yourself as you claim, but we have common sense. We graduated from the hard school of life,” stressing that COVID-19 virus entered Ghana through the Airport but not Tema or Takoradi where the Ministry of Health successfully executed the Disinfection Health Service with the help of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
They pointed out that the Airport where Kofi Addah refused to assist the Health officials in implementing the Disinfection Health Service was the entry point for the COVID-19 virus.
“Ill-informed Group or people, can tell you that the COVID-19 Virus came through the Airport that you manage, and it spread all over Ghana. It only requires common sense to see this, not awards from Airport Council International. It does not require education to see that if you implemented the Disinfection Health Service like it was done at the ports, then Ghana would have been better prepared, had fewer cases and you could have saved Ghanaian lives,” they indicated.
They also maintained that disinfection is a Health matters and just like at the ports, they did not see GPHA nor the Ministry of Transport coming to the ports of Tema and Takoradi to start doing disinfection.
“Mr Minister? If you are responsible for everything at the Airport, including the health of our nation, then why did you not stop the Corona Virus infecting and killing Ghanaians which came through the airports under your watch? What did you do to prevent this Pandemic? Why are you obstructing other Government Agencies to carry out their constitutional Duties?”
GUTA also noted that the world has a pandemic and dealing with viruses and pandemics by law is under the jurisdiction of Ministry Of Health Not Ministry Of Aviation, indicating that the Minister’s “ego has blocked your reasoning and has accelerated the spread of the Virus and loss of Ghanaian lives.”
They however pointed out that their positions are based on the information they received from stakeholder meetings, traders, fact-finding missions at the Airport and media publications, with overwhelming information coming from the stakeholders’ meetings with the Ministry of Health.
They said disinfection Health Service is not a new subject for people who know what is going on in Ghana and that Ministry of Health in the stakeholders meeting educated GUTA about the importance of Disinfection Health Service.
GHS, they said has already contracted the Disinfection Health Service more than a year ago but the Aviation Minister never helped them to perform a public duty and now that there is Pandemic and people of Ghana want answers, “you claim that you are under duress which is caused by the fact that you failed to act on the Minister of Health Letter dated 1t7h May 2019 with the reference number MOH/OM/LCB-AV/14919. You want everyone to come and sign contracts with you, even though it has nothing to do with you because of your selfish interest.”
They stressed that the Governing Board of GACL has already approved the project as published in the rejoinder by GACL the Board has approved the project in principle.
GUTA is still stressing for the installation of the disinfection system at the Airports to ensure that lives of travelers are protected.