SOME staff members of the Ghana Airport Company Limited have expressed surprise at the dismissal of the Managing Director, Mr John Dekyem Attafuah, last week.
According to them, they were still unaware of the reasons for the action by the sector minister and indicated that should they know why, it would guide them in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking in separate interviews with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on grounds of anonymity, the staff, numbering about six, also debunked rumours that the axed MD was autocratic and arrogant.
“If one is firm and principled, it does not mean the person is arrogant and autocratic”, they said and added that “to us he was one of the finest MDs we have had so far”.
They expressed the hope that his absence from the scene would not open what they described as the ‘floodgates’ for some contractors to work their way outside the procurement process to win contracts.
“We know some of the things that he did not tolerate and we pray that whoever is appointed substantively will not undermine the process but live up to expectation”, one said.
The source said because of the stature of the company, everything was expected to be done professionally and in accordance with due process to maintain the integrity of the company, the image of which has been elevated in recent years.
The letter announcing his dismissal was dated January 16, 2019, and signed by the Aviation Minister, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, and addressed to the Board Chairman of the company.
Mr Attafuah, who spoke exclusively to the Daily Graphic at the weekend, confirmed his sack but said “I was not given any letter. The Board Chairman only communicated the content of the said directive to me. The action took immediate effect”.
Asked whether he was given any reasons for the action, he replied in the negative, saying “I do not know exactly what occasioned the action but I have respected the directive and vacated my position as directed”.
He also denied media reports to the effect that he was arrogant, autocratic and sabotaged government initiatives to transform the aviation sector of the country.
Meanwhile, sources said his deputy, Mr Yaw Kwakwa, had been asked to act until a new managing director is appointed by the government.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, appointed Mr John Dekyem Attafuah as the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) in March 2017.
The appointment was confirmed in a statement dated March 20, 2017, by the Ghana Airports Company Limited.
Mr Attafuah, a Management Consultant, replaced Mr Charles Asare who resigned as the GACL MD on March 22, 2017.
During his tenure as the Managing Director of the GACL, Mr Attafuah supervised the successful completion of the Terminal 3 project at the Kotoka International Airport, an edifice which has transformed the international outlook of one of the country’s entry and exit points.
He is also credited with major transformational initiatives which have raised the standard of the airport, thereby placing Ghana on the international map as the gateway to the sub region.
Mr Attafuah, until his appointment, was the Managing Director of Virtual Access Limited, a market research company.
During the regime of President Kufuor between 2005 and 2009, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, a position he held until the ruling party lost power.
He has over 30 years experience in the energy, services, information technology (it) and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr John Dekyem Attafuah holds a degree in Computer Science and Statistics from University of Ghana, Legon, and a Master of Science degree in Systems Development from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.