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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Protest against sale of SSNIT hotels an attempt to stop a crime – Kwame Agbodza

The Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Agbodza, has described the protest against the sale of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hotels as an attempt to stop a crime.

According to him, the majority of SSNIT hotels are more profitable than Rock City Hotel Limited; therefore, they would resist the sale to Rock City which is owned by Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong.

“If you try to sell these hotels to Bryan Acheampong, see if he can actually take possession of it. Our constitution says to resist oppressors’ rule… if you see somebody murdering somebody, you don’t wait and go to court; you make an attempt to stop the person from committing the crime first.

“What we are doing now is an attempt to stop the committing of a crime before we go to court,” he said.

This follows a protest by hundreds of Ghanaians, who poured onto the streets of Accra, singing patriotic songs and demanding an immediate halt to the sale of the majority of SSNIT’s stake in four hotels to Rock City Hotel.

The aggrieved protesters say they will push until the deal is completely off the table.

Mr. Agbodza added that the protest is the first option against the sale, adding that more options will be employed in the latter days.

“Option number two is in Parliament. The others are still available to us,” he added.

Additionally, North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who has been leading the crusade against the sale of the hotels, says that together with the Minority in Parliament, they will do everything to ensure the deal does not see the light of day.

Mr. Ablakwa said the deal is part of the numerous lootings of state assets by the Akufo-Addo-led government.

According to him, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ridge Royal, and the other hotels are profitable facilities, whereas Rock City Hotel Limited has been consistently reporting losses.

Mr. Ablakwa subsequently questioned the argument that Mr. Acheampong has expertise in hotel management.

“It is not about anybody coming to save these hotels. If that person had the magic wand and was the saviour, he would have saved his hotel which is making losses. While Labadi Beach Hotel and Ridge Royal are making profits, according to the GRA filings, Rock City has made losses and continues to make losses. Last year, Rock City made a loss, they didn’t pay any tax.

“This tells you that this cannot be about somebody with expertise in making profits or transforming hotels. This is just pure state capture. It is a classic state capture,” he stated.

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