The Ghana Airports Company Limited today 9th October 2018, held the 6th in the series of Annual General Meetings with a call on the company to help harness the potential of the aviation sector to support government’s job creation initiative.
Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Addah who threw the challenge, also entreated the company to work at improving economic growth in the country, while ensuring the realization the quest to make Ghana the preferred destination of choice for travellers across the globe.
To this end, the Minister announced that the Ministry was moving with speed to ensure the construction of airports in the Central, Western as well as Upper East regions, to open up economic activities in those regions and allow for job creation.
Mr. Kofi Addah also intimated that the ministry was in talks and negotiations with domestic airlines to get them to begin using the idle Wa and Ho airports.
‘’The prospects in the industry place a huge responsibility on government to ensure that appropriate strategies and policies are adopted to develop the sector’’ he added.
Board Chairperson of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, Ms. Oboshie Sai Coffie in her review advocated for the removal of counterproductive taxation systems in order to allow for the realisation of the wider benefits of an efficient aviation system in the country and on the African continent at large.
She lauded government’s support for the sector saying ‘’here in Ghana we are fortunate to have the support of Government, which through the 2017 budget, removed the 17.5% VAT on domestic airfares to make domestic travel more affordable. I am happy to note, that as a result of this policy intervention, there has been a notable increase in the domestic passenger throughput.’’
She also touched on African Air Expo which took place last year, explaining that it opened the country up to the world with the attraction over 300 local and international exhibitors, 15,000 Trade visitors, and 150 participating delegates as well as local and foreign media.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited John Dekyem Attafuah presenting his report opined that Passenger throughput showed an improvement of 5.3% in 2017 compared to 2016, growing from 2,381,917 in 2016 to 2,509,339 during the year under review.
The increase he explained was as a result of the removal of Value-Added Tax (VAT) component from domestic air fares in the first quarter of 2017adding that promotional fares introduced by some airlines in 2017, further enhanced passenger numbers.
On the company’s profitability for the year ending 31st December 2018, Mr. Attafuah said the company continues to operate profitably with a performance of about GH¢87 million profit before tax, which is lower by 43% compared to the previous year. Essentially, operational cost and currency exchange losses attributed to lower profit.
He added that the company’s financial position recorded further improvement in growth in the balance sheet size and the quality of infrastructure.
‘’Total non-current assets increased by 19% to GHS 6.4billion (2016: GHS 5.4 billion) driven by the increase in Property, plant and equipment. The total assets increased by 15% to GHS 6.7 billion (2016: GHS 5.8 billion). Total assets value per share increased by 15% to GHS1,383 (2016: GHS 1,202). Liquidity dipped, posting a ratio of 1.87 in 2017 against 6.9 in 2016 which was below the industry index of 2 times or more. Despite uncertainties and challenges with the macroeconomic situations in 2017, most of which were out of the company’s control, Management is confident that the completion of Terminal 3 will create opportunities for further growth in the business.’’ He said.
The executive chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, Stephen Asamoah Boateng on his part admonished all state owned enterprises to emulate the shining example of GACL, as a company that operates profitably and meets reporting timelines.
He also announced the restructuring of the State enterprises Commission with a view to streamlining its operations of to cure the challenge of multiple sources of reporting and monitoring in the State Enterprises sector.
He said cabinet has looked at a Bill that will be submitted to parliament this month and subsequently passed into law to create the State Interest and Governance Authority which replace the State Enterprises Commission.