Home Business Fact Check: Was Bong Senator Correct on Airports in West Africa?

Fact Check: Was Bong Senator Correct on Airports in West Africa?

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Henrique Tokpa, Bong Senator
Henrique Tokpa, Bong Senator

Claim: The Airport of Sierra Leone and another airport in west Africa are private-run institutions.’

Verdict: False, But,

Full Text: Bong County Senator Henrique Tokpah on Thursday at the Senate regular session said he was worried about the constant power outage at Liberia’s only International airport.

 “We are a mockery in West Africa if you looked on Facebook, there is a Nigerian comedian who is making fun of our Airport, portraying that, when the plane is about to land, the light goes off. It is very scary and serious. In fact, according to my research, most airports in the world especially in West Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone all have private airports and they run efficiently; the government has a share ranging from 10-25%’’

On March 28, 2022, President Weah and other government officials were greeted with darkness upon their arrival into the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where they had gone to participate in EXPO DUBAI 2020.

On March 29, travelers again were compelled to use the torch of their respective phones to provide light in the terminals at the airport. A video, which went viral on social media, shows the travelers complaining and expressing serious frustration over the “disgraceful” situation while awaiting their respective flights for departure along with their luggage.

Airline authorities and workers have also been protesting the situation by either canceling or scaling down their flights.

Verification: In Ghana, the Kotoka International Airport is operated by Ghana Airports Company Limited, which has its offices on the airport property. It is the sole international airport in Ghana.

It was registered in 2006 and presently manages airports such as Kotoka International AirportWa AirportTamale AirportSunyani AirportHo AirportKumasi Airport, and other airstrips in Ghana. It was established as a result of the decoupling of the existing Ghana Civil Aviation Authority(GCAA) which was in line with current trends that are in the aviation industry.

Though, in 2019, there was a claim that the airport was to be privatized but the claim was dismissed by Ghana’s Aviation Minister.

While in Sierra Leone Freetown International Airport in Lungi is Sierra Leone’s main airport.  The airport is operated by the Sierra Leone Airports Authority. Before its use as a civilian airport, it was a British Royal Air Force base. In 2012 its management was contracted out to the British security and military company Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd.

Ivory Coast’s largest airport in the country for air traffic Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport (IATA: ABJ, ICAO: DIAP), also known as Port Bouët Airport, is located 16 km (9 mi; 10 mi) southeast of AbidjanIvory Coast. It is the largest airport. The airport is the main hub of the national airline Air Côte d’Ivoire

The airport is managed by Aeria, a private Ivorian company, that continually developed the airport over the decades and contributed to making it one of the most modern and the main hubs of West Africa.

Conclusion:

The claim by Bong County Senator Henrique Tokpa that airports in Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Ivory Coast are privately owned; is partly False.

Ghana and Sierra Leone International airports are state-managed except for Ivory Coast which is privately run.

 

 

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