Sunday, 14 July

Rock City not making losses, Ablakwa telling lies - Bryan Acheampong

Mr. Acheampong challenged the authenticity of Mr. Ablakwa's documents.

Food and Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong has firmly refuted claims by North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that his hotel, Rock City, is incurring losses.

The allegations have surfaced amid a contentious proposed sale of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust’s (SSNIT) stake in several hotels to Mr. Acheampong’s business entity.

“Rock City is not making losses. There is no one anywhere who can say that Rock City is making losses. I saw Okudzeto and Sammy Gyamfi in the studio exaggerating.

Mr. Okudzeto was in smock exaggerating that Rock City is making losses and that he has intercepted documents from GRA,” the Agriculture Minister stated emphatically.

The North Tongu MP had asserted that Rock City, located in the Eastern Region, was unprofitable, claiming he possessed documents from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to substantiate his claim.

“It is not about anybody coming to save these hotels. If that person had the magic wand and was the saviour, he would have saved his hotel which is making losses. While Labadi Beach Hotel and Ridge Royal are making profits, according to the GRA filings, Rock City has made losses and continues to make losses. Last year [2023], Rock City made a loss, they didn’t pay any tax,” Mr. Ablakwa noted, branding the proposed sale as “classic state capture.”

In response, Mr. Acheampong challenged the authenticity of Mr. Ablakwa's documents.

“All he [Ablakwa] is saying are lies. There is nothing truthful about what Okudzeto said concerning that matter. In the first place, Rock City has informed me, and I have checked with the GRA that they have not filed their 2023 taxes.

“So, they have not filed yet. Rock City has not even gone to GRA; their plan is to file at the end of the month. So where did he get the document from? What he is saying is fabricated and a lie,” the Agriculture Minister insisted, daring Mr. Ablakwa to provide evidence.

The debate escalated following a “Hands Off Our Hotels” demonstration on June 18 at the Labadi Beach Hotel.

The protest, led by Mr. Ablakwa, sought to pressure the government to halt the sale of a 60 percent stake in four prominent hotels owned by SSNIT to Rock City Hotel.

The hotels in question include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, and Busua Beach Resort.

Mr. Ablakwa argued that selling state-owned properties to government officials constitutes a clear abuse of power.

This is just pure state capture. It is a classic state capture,” he reiterated.