Home » GACL Refutes Corruption Claims, Details Steps in Airport City 2 Project

GACL Refutes Corruption Claims, Details Steps in Airport City 2 Project

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has refuted allegations of corruption and malpractice in its ongoing Airport City 2 Project. These accusations, originating from statements by Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, have compelled GACL to provide a detailed account of the project’s trajectory.

Conceived in 2015, Airport City 2 aims to be a vibrant, sustainable mixed-use hub, building on the successes of its predecessor, Airport City 1. This ambitious project promises modern office complexes, residential areas, hotels, and recreational facilities, all serviced by cutting-edge infrastructure.

Starting in 2017, GACL enlisted Brightwater Property Investment Ltd through a competitive tendering process. This consultant enhanced the land-use scheme and commenced crucial technical surveys, ultimately estimating infrastructure costs at US$84 million.

Key infrastructural elements include sophisticated road networks, stormwater drains, a sewer reticulation system, and advanced electronic security measures. Additionally, plans for a fire station capable of servicing high-rise structures and a bridge over existing railway lines are definitive highlights.

Critical approvals were necessary. GACL submitted proposals to local and environmental authorities, utility services, and the Civil Aviation Authority, ensuring all designs met regulatory standards.

The project was open to public and private investment. Interested parties were invited through national dailies, leading to a thorough evaluation process. Subsequent discussions with potential investors were guided by the Public Procurement Authority’s advice and involved the Ministry of Finance due to the project’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) nature.

The initial phase required a consultant, leading to a public call for interest in 2018. After rigorous evaluation, Brightwater Property Investment Limited emerged as the chosen consultant in 2019, tasked with comprehensive planning and design duties.

Brightwater oversaw the creation of a new urban design, ensuring the integration of essential services. From roads to a management centre, every aspect was meticulously planned, setting the stage for a modern urban masterpiece.

Every technical and engineering design underwent scrutiny by local authorities and key stakeholders, ensuring compliance with urban development standards. This step was crucial before any further implementation could occur.

Following board approval, a public invitation was issued, seeking investors for the AC2 project. Each investment scenario was structured to ensure mutual benefit and adherence to the master development plan.

Expressions of interest were broadcast through various media outlets, ensuring transparent communication and equal opportunity for potential investors.

An expert panel, including KPMG consultants, conducted a thorough review of applicants, focusing on financial capability and technical expertise. The selection was meticulous, considering various investment scenarios.

Adherence to legal and procurement protocols was paramount. GACL consulted with the Public Procurement Authority and engaged with the Ministry of Finance, emphasizing compliance with the PPP law. This interaction included detailed feasibility studies and careful consideration of project viability.

Post-approval, dialogues commenced with Heaven Builders, a prominent respondent for infrastructure development. Negotiations involved land allocation in exchange for infrastructure establishment, highlighting GACL’s commitment to balanced deals.

The counteroffer from Heaven Builders initiated a detailed reassessment. GACL sought an independent valuation from the Ghana Institution of Surveyors, affirming its dedication to transparency and fair valuation.

GACL asserts its adherence to lawful and transparent processes in the Airport City 2 Project, denying any underhanded dealings with Heaven Builders. The company upholds that no external influences, including the President or related parties, interfered in the allocation of project lands or other decisions.

GACL encourages public confidence in its operations and dismisses any contrarian reports as misleading. The company remains steadfast in its commitment to national development through strategic, transparent, and equitable projects.

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