Source: The Finder - Plans by the management and governing board of the state broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), to sell the lands at the frontage of the GBC head office in Accra to a private real estate company is brewing tension among workers.
The offer of GBC lands in Accra, including the head office frontage, is part of a bigger plan to sell GBC lands nationwide, to private developers. Workers suspect some powerful people are hiding behind the plan to
raid GBC lands.
GBC is said to be giving out its lands near Flagstaff House and Kanda, as well as the frontage of the head office, to a real estate company called Keypot Real Estates Limited at a price of $1.5 million per acre.
Keypot Real Estates Limited is reported to pay $54 million to GBC for lands at Flagstaff House and Kanda, as well as the frontage of the GBC head office.
A document in the possession of The Finder, titled ‘Minutes of meeting of sub-committee of the programmes and projects committee of the governing board of GBC held on April 15, 2015 in GBC boardroom,’ provided some details on correspondence between GBC and Keypot Real Estates Limited.
According to the minutes, $54 million would be used to construct flats, especially for operational staff of GBC to have proximity to the studios in the performance of their duties.
At the said meeting, a board member of GBC, Mr Kwesi Afriyie-Badu was of the view that the $54 million to be received from Keypot in exchange for GBC lands near Flagstaff House and Kanda did not include the frontage of the GBC Head Office, which measured about seven acres from GBC gate one.
He was of the view that Keypot’s quotation of $1.5 million per acre of GBC land did not include the frontage of GBC.
He said the Senior Estates Manager of GBC also thought that the total acreage of land quoted by Keypot did not include the frontage of GBC.
In the minutes, Major Albert Don-Chebe (Rtd), Director-General of GBC, disagreed and said the $54 million included the acreage of land at the frontage of the GBC Head Office in Accra.
The D-G supported his view by referring to the initial proposal of Keypot, which included descriptions of the acreage of land measuring up to the road in front of GBC.
Major Don-Chebe was of the view that if the frontage was not part of the total acreage of land quoted by Keypot, then the proposed facilities such as clinic and swimming pool could not be included in the proposed accommodation for staff.
According to the document, Mr Afriyie-Badu insisted that the frontage of GBC be excluded even if it means obtaining a lesser amount of $51 million.
He accused Keypot of being dishonest and fraudulent in the process of the negotiations.
He said Keypot had earlier indicated that it would offer $1.3 million for an acre of land.
In the document, Mr Badu-Afriyie said when the programmes and projects committee was to take a final decision in respect of the quote by Keypot, Major Don-Chebe received a phone call, after which he told the meeting that Keypot had accepted to offer GBC an amount of $1.5 million per acre of land.
Mr Afriyie-Badu added that Keypot’s letter of acceptance, which should have been dated January 21, 2015, was rather dated January 12, 2015 and no reference was made to its initial offer of $1.3 million which had been rejected by the programmes and projects committee.
When Major Don-Chebe explained that the date on the acceptance letter could have been a clerical error, Mr Afriyie-Badu accused Major Don-Chebe of acting as ‘Chief Legal Counsel’ for Keypot.
In the minutes of the meeting, Major Don-Chebe then brought up correspondence, including minutes of GBC board meeting, in which it was pointed out that Keypot’s quotation included the frontage of GBC Head Office.
At this point, Major Don-Chebe stated that he has no personal interest in whichever company that would be selected by the board to put up the residential accommodation on GBC land.
He said as Chief Executive, he was only making sure that the board selected a company in time and the need for the company to work quickly to utilise GBC land for the purpose of constructing residential accommodation.
He said having been labelled as ‘Chief Legal Counsel’ for Keypot, he had lost interest in the process and development of GBC land, and insisted that the process be abandoned and the meeting suspended for the board to be briefed about the development.
When contacted, Mr Don-Chebe said the project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to protect GBC lands from encroachment, adding that there was nothing untoward about what management was doing.
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