Appeal to President Mahama to settle Ghana International Claims
Feature Article of Saturday, 23 February 2013
His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, congratulations on winning your first term as our president. The purpose of this appeal is to request full reimbursement of Ghana International Airlines (GIA) passengers’ money.
As you may be aware, it is nearly three years ago the previous administration under your predecessor Late Prof John Attah Mills suspended the operation of GIA. Since then the travel agents have answered every request for information from the Ministry of Transport committee and have made the victims information available for inspection multiple times and cooperated fully in providing documentation of the passengers’ losses. And yet after three years passengers haven’t received their refunds. Regrettably, former Ministers of Finance and Transport did leave an unfinished job.
In the past, several communiqués have been issued by the Ministry of Transport in Accra confirming that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, under the directive of late President John Evans Atta Mills, had released GH¢1,306,077.89 for the settlement of the remaining validated Ghana International Airways passengers’ claims. Another communiqué signed by Mr Kweku Sersah-Johnson, Public Affairs Director also stated that “A directive to that effect, signed by Dr Kwabena Duffour, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on March 18, 2011, authorised the Controller and Accountant General to release the amount to enable the Ministry of Transport to pay validated outstanding refund to Travel and Tour Operators for onward payment of the cost of ticket to the affected passengers,” It went further to inform Ghanaians that GH¢ 3,664,099.81 had so far been released to meet the refund of all claims validated by the Interim Management Committee set up by the Ministry of Transport to handle the exercise. It added that “All the claims of about 2,600 passengers have been met as well as payments by Government to other Airlines which were contracted to transport some of the stranded passengers to their various destinations in the wake of the end of the operations of the GIAL”. “With this recent release…the Ministry of transport is of the hope that all outstanding validated claims would have been covered and/or catered for and that this should bring to an end all attendant agitations,” the statement said
From the foregoing, it appears that the Ministry of Transport has fully settled all claims. Far from it. The Interim Management Committee appointed by the Ministry of Transport has not.
Majority of unpaid passengers are anxious to put the painful experience behind them but to wait for full reimbursement over three solid years seems unfairly time-consuming and emotionally painful. Below are few of the unpaid passengers ready to testify:-
Miss Maysel 0208 894 2490
Miss Wendy Boakye 0208 680 0778
Miss Janet Welsh 0208 239 1907 (07500721597)
Mrs Opoku 0794 191 6616
Mrs Twum Barimah 0208 684 8684
His Excellency, the Ghana international Airways victims have suffered for too long and deserve their refunds. They look forward to your timely response. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.