Dr. Kwabena Donkor, former Minister of Power, under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, has exposed the diabolical act of the government and its allied civil society organizations to taint the image of the NDC, in connection with the alleged missing of four helicopters, belonging to the Ghana Gas Company.
According to the former Minister of Power, who is also the Member of Parliament for Pru East, the four Z9 helicopters, which were purchased under the China Development Bank (CDB) Facility by the NDC government, are not missing, as the detractors of the NDC party sought to portray.
Dr. Steve Manteaw, Executive Director of ISODEC, had revealed in the media that, the four helicopters could not be found at the premises of the Ghana Gas Company at Atuabo in the Western Region.
According to Dr. Manteaw, a visit to the company recently and enquiries indicated that the helicopters had gone missing, which sought to suggest that the out-gone government and its appointees might have stolen them, like in the case of the government vehicles.
The issue has ignited debate in the public and media circles.
But the outspoken NDC MP debunked the claims, saying the helicopters were purchased to ensure the safety of Ghana Gas installations, provide surveillance services and also to conduct medical evacuation and search-and-rescue operations, in the event of any accident in the oil and gas sector.
He stated that the Ghana Airforce was designated to operate and maintain the helicopters and provide the required services to the Ghana Gas Company.
The helicopters, Dr. Donkor explained, were commissioned by former President John Mahama and have since been in the possession of the Ghana Airforce.
He wondered why the helicopters, which have since been in the possession of the Airforce and frequently used by ministers and other appointees of the current government have suddenly got missing, as has been alleged.
“The paradox is also that since NPP took over, several of their substandard 110 ministers have been using these helicopters, like ‘trotros’, all over the country. Defence Minister is the worst culprit. He uses the helis as ‘dropping’ on weekends to his constituency and back.”
“It is a clear demonstration of the substandard nature of this NPP government that they declare missing four helicopters that are securely parked in the hangars of the Ghana Airforce at the Airforce base in Accra,” the former Minister for Power set the record straight.
The Pru East MP expressed the view that, the action of the government is ill-fated and a clear demonstration of its substandard attitude towards national issues.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Gas Company has also issued a press statement in response to the allegation of missing helicopter, denying that the helicopters are gone missing.
“The Management of Ghana Gas wishes to respond to an allegation circulating in the media regarding the whereabouts of the helicopters, procured to provide surveillance services to the oil and gas installations in the Western Region,” the company stated.
The statement from the Corporate Communication Department of the company reads, “The Ghana Gas Company wishes to make it known to all stakeholders and the public that on Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, then President, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama commissioned the four Z-9 EH helicopters at the Air Force Station at Burma Camp.”
“The helicopters were to ensure adequate security surveillance of the nation’s oil and gas enclave in the Western Region Four (4) helicopters in total, not seven (7) as reported by some media outlets, were acquired,” it stated.
The statement explained that, the helicopters were procured from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC). The contract to that effect was signed on 21st December, 2012.
It added that, “the helicopters are currently stationed at the Air Force Headquarters at Burma Camp. Ghana Gas does not have the expertise and hangars to operate and maintain the helicopters.”
“The Ghana Air Force, however, possesses such facilities. Ghana Gas, therefore, mandated the Ghana Air Force to operate and maintain them on its behalf.”
“The helicopters are in good working condition and not “broken down” as erroneously reported. It is worth noting that, there is a helipad at the Atuabo Main Camp,” the press statement concluded.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba