Ghana Gas has been in the news these few days following revelations by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) that three helicopters (choppers) could not be found.
According to a leading member of PIAC, Steve Manteaw, the government has already paid $150 million for the purchase of three helicopters but they could not be traced.
“I have asked about the helicopters but there are no answers forthcoming,” Dr. Manteaw told Adom FM on Tuesday.
The gas company has not made any public statement about the status of the helicopters, but Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, has reportedly confirmed that Ghana Gas Company indeed purchased the helicopters.
Former Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor and his deputy, under whose tenure the helicopters were said to have been procured, have both hit back saying there are no missing helicopters.
They claimed the helicopters are currently parked in the hangars of the Ghana Air Force at the Air Force base in Accra.
Dr. Kwabena Donkor said the helicopters are “securely parked in the hangars of the Ghana Air Force at the Air Force base in Accra.”
He appeared to throw invectives when dealing with the issue.
The former minister said it is a sign of ‘substandard leadership’ for Dr Akoto Osei to go public on the whereabouts of the helicopters when he (Dr. Akoto Osei) could have found out from officials of the former government.
“It is a clear demonstration of the substandard nature of this New Patriotic Party government that they declare missing 4 helicopters,” he fumed.
Dr Kwabena Donkor confirmed the helicopters were bought with a Chinese loan and would be used by Ghana Gas Company to help secure the company’s installations and also respond to emergencies.
He said they were to “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” before justifying the purchase of the helicopters for Ghana Gas Company explaining that the military is ill-equipped to support the state company.”
Later his deputy, John Abdulai Jinapor, said on Starr FM in Accra, “We procured four helicopters and they were commissioned by John Mahama in public. Ghana Gas does not have the pilots and expertise to fly the helicopters…The helicopters are not supposed to be parked at Atuabo… The Ghana Armed Forces was asked to manage the helicopters.
“The helicopters are not missing… Before I left office, the helicopters were in good shape and were working… The management saying they do not know about the procurement of the helicopters is surprising.”
By William Yaw Owusu