The management of Ghana Gas has stated that four helicopters purchased by the erstwhile Mahama administration are not missing as reported.
Reports had indicated that the helicopters purchased at a cost of 150 million dollars by the previous administration were missing and could not be traced.
The co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr. Steve Manteaw who is also a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) said “sources close to Ghana Gas revealed that indeed the helicopters were bought and that they are being kept somewhere” adding “and I’m not too sure where…”
He continued that “so it is early days yet to conclude that they are missing and that for now we just couldn’t find them at the project but it does not mean that they are missing. So we just need to find out where they are and in which condition and shape they are in now.”
But the management of Ghana Gas in a statement said the helicopters are stationed at the Air Force Headquarters at Burma Camp since the Ghana Gas lacks the expertise to operate and maintain the helicopters.
“The Company wishes to make it known to all stakeholders and the public that on Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, then President, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama commissioned the four Z-9 EH helicopters at the Air Force Station at Burma Camp.
“The helicopters were to ensure adequate security surveillance of the nation’s oil and gas enclave in the Western Region.
“Four (4) helicopters in total, not seven (7) as reported by some media outlets, were acquired. The said helicopters were procured from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC). The helicopters are currently stationed at the Air Force Headquarters at Burma Camp.
“Ghana Gas does not have the expertise and hangars to operate and maintain the helicopters. The Ghana Air Force, however, possesses such facilities. Ghana Gas, therefore, mandated the Ghana Air Force to operate and maintain them on its behalf. The helicopters are in good working condition and not “broken down” as erroneously reported.”
The statement also stated that contrary to reports, there is a helipad at the Atuabo Main Camp.