The mystery of the Ghana Gas helicopters has finally been solved by the management of Ghana Gas. Here are five quick facts you should know…
1. Ghana Gas Helicopters are not Missing
Management of Ghana Gas has stated that the helicopters purchased by the erstwhile Mahama administration are not missing as earlier reported. The company has said that media reports indicating the helicopters were missing are erroneous and must be disregarded by the general public.
2. Only Four Helicopters were Procured
Ghana Gas also denied media reports suggesting that seven helicopters were bought for the surveillance services. The company clarified that only four helicopters and not seven, were bought from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) in 2015. This was contained in a statement released by Ghana Gas to dismiss the circulating rumors.
3. PIAC’s Dr. Steve Manteaw Fuelled Rumors
The circulating information that some helicopters purchased by the Mahama administration in 2015 for Ghana Gas were missing has been found to be initiated by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr Steve Manteaw, who claimed that three Ghana Gas Company (GGC) helicopters were missing.
Dr. Manteaw had said that the helicopters costing 150 dollars could not be traced, stirring controversy among stakeholders. The co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), claimed the information was leaked by sources close to Ghana Gas.
4. Helicopters with Air Force
Ghana Gas also said in the statement that the helicopters are stationed at the Air Force Headquarters at Burma Camp. This is because they currently lack the expertise to operate and maintain the helicopters.
The company said the military have the expertise to operate and maintain the helicopters, adding that they are in good working condition. The report of the missing helicopters has also been dismissed by the former Deputy Minister for Power John Jinapor, as strange and unfortunate.
5. Ex-President Mahama Commissioned Helicopters
Former President John Dramani Mahama in 2015 commissioned four helicopters to police the Ghana Gas project and ensure adequate security on the nation’s onshore pipelines. The helicopters which were to be operated by the Ghana Airforce were procured to ensure that the $1 billion Atuabo Gas Processing Plant was protected.
The helicopters were procured with the aim of enabling Ghana Gas handle challenges that hinder the production of gas in Ghana. At the time of commissioning of the four Z-9 EH helicopters, the former president said the move was also to assist in the general security of all oil installations and offshore oil fields.