DDP sponsorship cut cost of two Christmas trees to ¢78,366 vis-à-vis ¢120,000 spent on one in 2016 – GACL Board chair

The Board Chairman of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) Mr Paul Adom Otchere has further defended the spending on Christmas trees mounted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) during last year’s Christmas season.

This time, he revealed that the actual cost of two Christmas trees was ¢78,366 as against ¢120,000 spent on just one Christmas tree by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in 2016.

“We didn’t use this invoice, and people have gone round and talked about the cost on this invoice being the cost of the inspirations. That is totally wrong because this invoice is the one that has four Christmas trees for GH¢84,000.”

“In 2016 the spending on Christmas inspirations was GH¢120,000 and this was at just one terminal. In 2021, GH¢128,366 is the total amount of money that was spent on two terminals; terminal 2 and terminal 3. We called on Ghanaian advertising companies and one of them, DPP, came out and helped us to pay for the Christmas inspirations. That has not happened in a very long time, but it happened this time. DPP decided to support us with GH¢50,000. That total cost the [trees] is GH¢78,366. That is the amount of money spent in 2021 compared to 2016,” he said on television on Tuesday Janury 12.

Mr Adom-Otchere’s comments come after a member of the Transport Committee of Parliament and lawmaker for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza gave a hint that the Committee is likely to drag him to Parliament to answer questions relating to the cost of the Christmas trees.

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Mr Agbodza said his is a serious matter.

“Let’s see what the committee will do when we reopen. The matter is a serious one,” he said when asked whether the Committee will take up the matter for further investigations.

On Friday January 7, following the criticisms against the cost of the Christmas trees mounted at the KIA, Mr Adom Otchere said in a statement that the GACL had for many years mounted Christmas inspirations around the terminal area to create a festive atmosphere for passengers and their families coming into the country.

The total expenditure of 2021 was the lowest since 2016 he said.

“Dear folks, my attention has been drawn to a social media post grossly misrepresenting facts about Christmas inspirations that were mounted at the Kotoko International Airport.

“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 GHC 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 GHC 84,000 out of which GHC 50,000 was obtained via sponsorship.

“FACT: All salaries and or bonuses due staff for December have been paid.”

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He added “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”

Reacting to this in a statement, Mr Agbodza who is a member of the Trabsport Committee in Parliament said “Ghana Airport Company lost ghs1.4million in a week due to Emirates flight ban. At the same time , the Board Chairman is admitting to have spent GHS 84,000 on Christmas Trees and other decorations.

“Boards don’t do Procurements, it’s a function of management. The Board chair also said they invited quotations from 2 suppliers. That process is alien to the Public Procurement Act .. He got it totally wrong… Boards should not be doing direct procurements.”

“Boards are not procurement entities. Who invited the so-called companies who supplied the item? Where is the letter inviting them? Who signed it? How come the invoice was made attention to Paul Adom Okyere? Has he taken over the day to day management of the Company which is seriously struggling?” He further quizzed.

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Emirates in announcing the ban two weeks go apologized for the negative effect of the decision.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans,” Emirates said.
“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.

“In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are updated by visiting Manage Your Booking.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana