The Board Chairman of Ghana Airports Company Ltd, has been caught in controversy over the cost of some four Christmas trees purchased for Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3 and other vantage places.
Paul Adom Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana Current Affairs programme on Accra-based Metro TV, whom strangely the invoice was addressed to, has since been on social media denying the issue.
A total of GH¢ 90,500 has been mentioned as the amount spent on the Christmas trees, its decorations, transportation and others from a company called Favors and Arts.
But his explanation is raising questions including why the invoices were addressed to him as the Board Chairman of the corporate body rather than the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Ltd, Yaw Kwakwa or the Procurement officer of the state-owned company.
The Board had blown a whopping GH¢21, 000 for each of the four Christmas trees after taking prices from two companies; Jandel Limited and Favors and Arts.
The invoice from Favors and Arts, stated that GH¢ 84,000 for Xmas tree and the decorations described as “Christmas chandelier with lights”, while GH¢ 3000 was paid for scaffold to assemble and dismantle the trees, and then another GH¢ 3,500 for transporting them.
But Paul Adom Otchere, who took over from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), stalwart and former Minister of Information in the Kufour administration, Oboshi Sai Coffie led Board insisted that the GH¢ 90,500 is the cheapest Ghana Airports Company Ltd has paid since 2016 meaning the company has annually been spending outrageous amounts on these artificial trees.
A Facebook user had alleged that the company bought the trees at GH¢84, 000, but could not pay workers’ salaries on time, however, Mr. Adom Otchere, in a response on the same Facebook platform, said the claims were untrue.
He insisted that the company rather bought the trees at GH¢34, 000 and also at a “heavy discount”.
Paul Adom Otchere, wrote saying “Dear folks, my attention has been drawn to a social media post (herein attached) grossly misrepresenting facts about Christmas inspirations that were mounted at the Kotoka International Airport.
“Here are the facts:
“FACT: The Ghana Airports Company Limited has for many years mounted Christmas inspirations around the terminal area to create a festive atmosphere for passengers and their families coming into the country.
“FACT: The total expenditure of 2021 is the lowest since 2016.
“FACT: Two separate suppliers were invited to submit bids. The bids were discussed and discounts obtained. (We are grateful to Jandel Limited and Favors and Arts).
“FACT: The beautiful Christmas tree standing at Terminal 3 and 3 others altogether cost GH¢ 34,000, which was graciously provided by Jandel Limited at a heavy discount. (We thank Jandel Limited)
“FACT: The other inspirations were provided by Favors and Arts for a total cost of GH¢ 84,000 out of which GH¢ 50,000 was obtained via sponsorship.
“FACT: All salaries and or bonuses due staff for December have been paid.
“It is ridiculous for anyone to say that the invoices from these two reputable companies were issued in the name of the Board Chairman, that just means the author of such spurious allegations has insufficient acquaintance with corporate workings.
“We will like to urge the general public to disregard these unfounded allegations. The GACL has a fully operational corporate affairs department that is able to attend to all public enquiries.
“We will like to assure the general public that we are fiercely committed to support the Hon Minister of Transport to achieve President Akufo-Addo’s vision for the airport, the vision contained in clear directions is to “make all Ghana airports an important symbol for our national development agenda”.
“That is our focus for which we require prayers and support. Amen