Akufo-Addo Funds In-Law’s Hotel With State Land & Cash

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As Impunity Engulfs Nation

An air of impunity, has taken over the country with President Akufo-Addo, continuously showing his readiness to do anything in the financial interest of his family and friends, even if it means, dishing out state funds and other resources to them.

Mark Wills

One such development occurred last Monday, when he performed a ceremony for construction works to start on the Pullman Accra Airport City Project in which his brother in-law, Dr. Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, has an overwhelming interest.

Dr. Nyantekyi-Owusu, is the husband of Regina, a direct sister to First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and he is the Chairman of Inter-Afrique Holdings and is said to be building Ghana’s largest and most distinguished hospitality facility.

Also involved in the project situated on the prime state land near the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), is Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank Brokerage Limited.

Pullman Accra Airport City, is a joint development between equity partners, Inter-Afrique Holdings Ltd and the state-managed Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

The fund  which is under the Finance Ministry, is a permanent investment vehicle established by statute to lead, promote, facilitate and fund infrastructure in Ghana.

The current arrangement means that, the Pullman Accra Airport City Project, being funded with GIIF money, which Ken Ofori-Attah as Finance Minister oversees; is a clear case of conflict of interest.

The investing partners’ interests are held through Platinum Properties Limited as the Project Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and asset owner.

The Herald’s finding established other partners in the deal to be SDC Finance & Leasing Services Limited, identified as non-banking financial institution in Ghana engaged in investment banking services for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME).

Concast Limited, was also cited in the transaction. It is identified as a manufacturing company set up to produce pre-cast concrete products like floor slabs, column beams, staircases and wall panels to service medium and large scale construction project in Ghana. Its offices are said to be near Tema.

Another company discovered was Platinum Limited. It was said to be involved in real estate and development. Currently, it is said to be developing an iconic high rise building projects for mixed-use located in the Airport City, the newly business and commercial hub of Accra.

The final company involved in the transaction is mentioned as Midway Resources International Limited – an independent oil and gas exploration and development company with a focus on upstream oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Guinea which Inter-Afrique Holding Limited is a founding investor.  The owners claim, it has offices in Nigeria and Kenya.

These details were captured on the website of Inter-Afrique Holdings, but the site cannot be accessed now. It appears pulled down by its owners perhaps because of the revelations.

The partnership said they would lead to the opening of the 364-key hotel and serviced apartments, making it the largest hotel and the first dual hospitality offering in Ghana by 2021.

The ground breaking event on Monday, followed the signing of the Hotel Management Agreement between Accor Hotels and Platinum Properties Limited on October 2, 2018.

President Akufo-Addo, said the project was “in line with my government’s vision of using an appropriate mix of public policy, and public-private investments, to help market the country as an exciting destination for leisure, conference, sports, health, educational and cultural tourism”.

He added that it was going to create 1,000 jobs at the construction phase, and employ 546 persons, when it became operational.

The President said it refreshing to learn that Pullman Accra would be the highest Green-Rated building in the country and the second highest Green-Rated hotel in Africa.

“For the co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this is certainly a welcome development.”

President Akufo-Addo said his government was a natural cheerleader for the private sector, “and over the course of the past twenty-three (23) months, we are succeeding in putting in place measures and policy initiatives that are creating an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish”.

He assured the private partners of the project, Inter-Afrique Holdings Limited that under his watch, Ghana would continue to be a great place to do business.

“It is my expectation that they will be able to address these challenges satisfactorily, for they are all very competent in their domain.

“If it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority, I want you to know that my doors will always be open to you.

“I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the country as a whole.”

These comes with a string of many conflict of interest claims against the Akufo-Addo family, his friends and appointees.

In October this year, AccorHotels and Platinum Properties Limited Ltd., the Project Company of the Pullman Accra Airport City, through eturbonews.comannounced the signing of a landmark agreement for Pullman Accra Airport City, the country’s first Pullman branded hotel and Pullman Living serviced apartments located in the heart of Accra’s Airport City.

The agreement was recognized by Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, Chairman of Inter-Afrique Holdings and Mark Willis, CEO Middle East & Africa, AccorHotels, at a signing ceremony at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF).

It said the partnership will lead to the opening of the 363-key hotel and serviced apartments, making it the largest hotel and the first dual hospitality offering in Ghana set to open in 2021.

Commenting on the announcement, Mark Willis said: “Today’s announcement marks the much-anticipated expansion of one of our most renowned upscale brands – Pullman – and signifies the start of our partnership with Dr. Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, whom I would like to thank for his support and confidence in AccorHotels. This agreement is an important step towards expanding our network in Sub Saharan Africa and demonstrates our dedication to developing the most distinct hospitality concepts, including Pullman Living, our compelling extended stay solution in the premium market.”

“Pullman Accra Airport City will solidify our presence in a country where we already operate an Ibis Styles as well as the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra, and combined with the latter, our foothold in the premium segment is reinforced with a complementary and prime location in Airport City. Moreover, this project will strengthen our brand’s visibility in West Africa where we already operate in Dakar and Abidjan and have signed a Pullman hotel in Lagos earlier this year, he concluded.”

Pullman Accra will feature 214 hotel rooms and suites; and 149 serviced apartments under the Pullman Living brand, responding to a growing demand for extended-stay accommodation in Accra. Located within the Airport City enclave, a commercial hub, Pullman Accra Airport City will be a preferred destination for corporate guests and clients in Accra.

The new-build, upscale hotel is anticipated to become a major venue for conferences and events with seven meeting rooms, dedicated banqueting facilities in addition to being located just a few minutes away from Kotoka International Airport. In addition, Pullman Accra Airport City will offer two restaurants, providing a range of international cuisines, pool bars, two swimming pools and lush landscaped areas.

Pullman Accra Airport City is a joint development between equity partners Inter-Afrique Holdings Ltd. and Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (“GIIF”), the private sector focused sovereign wealth fund of Ghana with diversified interests in infrastructure and tourism. The development is managed by Inter-Afrique Properties Limited as development manager; Diagonal Projects Africa as project manager; with IBC Equity Partners as Transaction Advisor and W Hospitality Limited as hotel consultant.

Dr. Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, Executive Chairman of Inter-Afrique Holdings Ltd (“the Project Sponsor”) and Chairman of the Project Company said: “We are pleased to appoint AccorHotels to manage our first hotel in Accra. The contemporary upscale value proposition of the Pullman Brand will make Pullman Accra Airport City stand out and appeal to both business and leisure guests.

Pullman

We are confident that the Pullman brand is the perfect fit for the Accra market owing to the strong brand positioning of Pullman as an upscale business hotel. We are positioned to leverage on the attractiveness of Ghana as a major business hub and thriving economy to outdoor such landmark developments in our pipeline. Our development of the Pullman Accra Airport City is the first of our Group’s pipeline of world-class commercial real estate developments, and we are particularly pleased to have completed this with a strong strategic partner like GIIF.”

There are currently over 115 Pullman hotels in 33 countries worldwide with close to 35,000 rooms. In Africa and the Middle East, Pullman accounts for 12 hotels with more than 4,000 rooms. Pullman Accra Airport City will join a range of flagship addresses worldwide including Pullman Dakar and Pullman Abidjan.

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More to come!

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