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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sale of SSNIT Hotels nothing but state capture

Lead convener of the ‘Hands Off Our Hotels Demonstration’ and Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has described the sale of a 60 percent stake in six hotels owned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as a state capture by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong.

Ablakwa in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM on Monday, indicated that it doesn’t make sense to sell off viable hotels to a company that is struggling to catch up with its tax obligations.

He told Nii Larte Lartey that appointees of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have consistently attempted to “convince Organised Labour to come along with the sale to Rock City Hotel, a hotel owned by Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong.”

He suggested that if the government is committed to reviving the hotels, as it claims to be struggling, it should rather appoint new management teams and not scheme to hand them over in a sweetheart deal to a crony.

“It doesn’t make sense that these iconic hotels, which have served us well, will be put up for sale. Labadi Beach Hotel is a cash cow. All you need to do is appoint new management and not put these hotels up for sale to be given to a political apparatchik.”

He added that the hotels are viable and have experienced people manning them compared with the Rock City Hotel.

“Rock City Hotel, in terms of expertise and capacity, comes nowhere near to Labadi Beach Hotel, so why do you want to give the controlling stake to an individual in the face of the ILO’s warning that SSNIT will soon not be able to pay benefits?

“If SSNIT wanted to restructure a company, it should be STC because it is 80 percent owned by the government and has been making losses.”

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