As he shared his excitement on the filling, he put forward some questions that the probe will be about.
Amongst those questions were how the deal occurred and why it set aside the procurement law.
“I am glad that we have filed a motion in parliament demanding a full-scale inquiry. How did this occur? Why was the procurement law set aside? What was the motivation? And why this total rip-off?”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
According to him, the “stinking deal” made about USD 130 million in profits.
“It was a sweetheart deal, it is a rip-off, and it was just done for Frontiers. They made USD 130 million in profits. Frontier was exempted from paying the water bill. Even the airport has a clinic that could have done this. This is a stinking deal…”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr. Okudzeto stated that a letter he had secured dated August 31, 2020, indicated that Frontiers had the contract through a discussion with exclusive rights over testing at the airport.
“I have to secure the offer letter from the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. Mr Yaw Kwakwa, dated August 31, 2020, indicating that the said contract was based on a discussion. Frontiers were given privileged opportunities. Frontiers were given exclusive rights and the Ghana Airports Company was given only 10%. “Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Honorable Okudzeto noted that even though the company (Frontiers) was established only about two months before the contract, the contract was awarded to Frontiers. He also underscored that the company also had no track records for the project at hand.
“Frontiers according to its incorporation document was established on 21st July, 2023. Without a track record, it was given the contract.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Furthermore, the contract made no use of the procurement laws and also issued an open license to Frontiers without specifications.
“First of all, They did not give regard to procurement laws and processes and let no one say it was an emergency because, under the procurement law, we have emergency provisions. The license that was issued was an open one without specifications.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr. Okudzeto also identified that the contract which was supposed to last two years was why, Ghana was still testing long after many countries had stopped testing at airports amidst lots of public agitation.
Recounting what had pricked his curiosity to go investigate the matter, he recalled how Manasseh Azure was denied information on the deal when he (Manasse) had requested it during COVID-19.
“I recall that veteran investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure had also requested the information much earlier and was denied. If you recall, we brought this whole Frontiers scandal to the fore during the airport testing arrangement during COVID at the Kotoka international airport.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
He added that, after his quest to find answers from the Health Minister, the Attorney General, the Foreign Minister, the National Security Minister, the Information Minister, and the Transport Minister, amongst others had failed, and he wondered why the government couldn’t be transparent.
He thus made it his business to investigate the matter.
According to him, this was rather an opportunity for indigenous organizations to grow as well as increase IGFs of the Ghana Airport Company Ltd.
“We took the view that it was inconceivable that even there was this opportunity to also build capacity and raise internally generated funds, for local organizations, and Ghanaian organizations, so why not give them a priority.”Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Mr. Okudzeto wondered why Noguchi, the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research, or the Kotoka International Airport Clinic did not take up the contract instead.
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