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…Scaring Away Investors To Frustrate Akufo-Addo’s Private Sector Agenda @ Civil Aviation

By Frank Amponsah

Concerns have been raised by some genuine Ghanaian investors over what appears tobe attempts by some civil servants operating as agents of the opposition, to stifle the efforts of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government at encouraging the progress of the private sector at Civil Aviation Authority.

One policy that serves as the nerve centre of the Akufo-Addo government is the creation of an investor-friendly economy to attract investors both locally and internationally.

That policy, when successful, would not only expand the economy but also lead to the creation of jobs to tackle the national challenge of youth unemployment.
What that means is that the fine alignment of the policies and programmes of the government and for that matter, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would lead to a continuous vindication of the promises made by the party.

In view of that, some personalities, said to be ‘sleeping spies’ of the opposition have been activated to work at frustrating attempts by investors to invest in the economy, thereby promote the agenda of national development.

One of such activities being undertaken by the ‘sleeping spies’ of the opposition is currently in the process and would soon become topical in the aviation industry.
Information available to this paper indicates that some airline companies, owned by Ghanaians are being frustrated from operating in Ghana by some aviation powers in connivance with civil servants.

Indications were that with the coming in of the current administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, the almost moribund aviation industry that the government inherited would have given way to a flurry of activities where more private airline companies would join the bandwagon to operate in Ghana.
Rather, information gleaned from some offices that have to do with the issuance and renewal of aviation licenses, are, through their actions and inactions, painting a picture of the nation’s aviation sector as being already self-sufficient and not in need of fresh investors.

Interestingly, pieces of information picked up by this paper point to the fact that some of these civil servants described as “kingpins” in these offices, including a woman, have attained their ages of retirement but are still desperately fighting and working to be given extensions by way of contracts.

Concerned staff of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), who were sympathetic to the NPP in the times when the cohorts of the Mahama-led administration were muscling out potential investors because they were said to be pro-NPP, are still tongue-tied as to why the situation should still be the way it is.
One of them, who would not disclose his full details for fear of victimisation but chose to be identified as Garry told this paper that the situation was very worrying and that there was the need for the sector minister to take concrete steps to weed out persons who might end up sabotaging her administration.
As early as in March 2016, Citi Business News reported that barring any last minute challenge, three domestic airlines that suspended operations in 2014, would resume by the third quarter of 2016.
It went ahead to say that the indications coming in from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority were that some three airlines who withdrew their services for varied reasons were returning to the fold.
The three, according to the story, were City Link, Fly 540 and Antrak Air, explaining that Antrak Air for instance, suspended its operations following its indebtedness to Swift Air over a wet lease agreement.
Fly540 Ghana now Royal Fly GH, the story said, suspended operations as part of a restructuring exercise.
Players in industry, the story said, have raised concern over their long absence as that impacted heavily on traffic and revenue to the aviation sector.
The manager of Business development and Statistics of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Reverend Stephen Wilfred Arthur, reportedly told Citi Business News that all the three airlines had made progress to enable them commence operations by the third quarter of 2016.
“In the case of fly 540 there is a change of ownership apart from the change of name and the intent to rebrand the airline and so it had to go through some re-certification and also there are security concerns amidst other things that have to be done especially with regards to Fly 540 now Royal Fly Gh. In the case in the case of Antrak Air, there have been no changes that have been brought to our notice. I do know that they intend changing their logo and doing rebranding. City Link equally we do know that for certainty that they are making serious strides to come back before the end of the year,” he said.
“To be very objective, the second quarter will be very challenging; I would prefer looking at the third quarter looking at where they are now” Rev. Arthur added.

That was last year. A year on, we will bring Ghanaians details as to why those airlines have not returned to the fold and what could be their peculiar challenges.

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