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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NPP & NDC must be blamed for collapse of GIA - Ato Conduah


A former Management Consultant to the Senior Staff Association of the defunct Ghana Airways, Mr. Ato Conduah says neither the NDC nor NPP governments can escape blame for the woes of Ghana International Airlines.

Speaking on Citi FM Tuesday, Mr. Konduah noted that the difficulties facing GIA is as a result of complete failure on the part of GIA Board, the management and most of all, government as a majority shareholder, to do what was expected of them.

The troubles of the once thriving Airliner have deepened since its operations were suspended by government due to its inability to fly passengers.

An alleged embezzlement of ticket sales by management was blamed for the suspension, an allegation that has been challenged by the management.

Mr. Conduah said the decision to dissolve Ghana Airways was not a wise one and blamed government for failing to adopt a business module that would have sustained the business into the future but rather resorted to try and error.

‘‘It was an airline that needed just 4 million dollars to make it more competitive but that was not done with the view that they had not managed well. They rather created something to glorify themselves and the foundation on which the new airline was situated was fundamentally weak from the beginning. There is no way a national airline could be running on the budget of the government, and from that moment we set ourselves to fail.

‘‘The painful thing is that in Ghana we don’t like professionals who can turn things around, and that is the same in the case of the airline. In Ghana, only grey hair contains wisdom and we don’t entertain young visionary ideas that can bring results to this country. We indicated that it was not a wise decision to sell the airline but all these were ignored. The leadership for the airline was wrong and at some point I thought they were using PR to run the organization rather than using proper management work’’.

He said it was unfair for government to say that it has no obligation to GIA staff over their unpaid salary claims. According to him, GIA workers were engaged in the name of government as majority shareholders together with the minority shareholders.

‘‘People were given contracts to discharge and if they had been managed well by the senior management in the organisation, we would not have gotten to where we are now. Somebody is responsible and instead of taking collective responsibility to sit down and look at what we can do right, we have thrown our hands in the air blaming one another’’.

‘‘The real difficulties are still there. The finances are weak, we lack the necessary partnership of a work lease for an aircraft to begin our own operations, and there is no airline company in the world that has made serious profits by using chattered flights. If you want to do that kind of business, you must own your own aircraft and we have not made an attempt’’ he fumed.

He blamed governments’ undue interference in the management of both the defunct Ghana Airways and GIA for the woes of the Airliner.

‘‘We all remember when a senior member of government sent policemen and soldiers to go and run out minority shareholders who were in management of that airline. And we cannot simply say that government was innocent in this. I mean the old government (NPP). Secondly, when the old Ghana Airways was dissolved because it was not financially viable, according to the authorities, the forensic audit that was undertaken revealed that government appointees in the NDC were going to Accra-New York Accra for 100 dollars, Accra-Johannesburg-Accra for 100 dollars. How can a national airline be used by state officials at that discount and still be expected to turnover profits? He queried.

Source: Citifmonline

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