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Business News Fri, 29 Apr 2005

Roads Transport Minister Lashes At Afra Airline Boss

Roads Transport Minster, Dr Richard Anane, has taken a swipe at the chief executive of Afra Airlines Luke Butler.

He says the public should ignore the claims of Mr. Butler arguing that the Afra Airline boss does not have what it takes to operate an airline.

Mr. Butler told the media in Accra last week that his company?s efforts to begin operations has been fraught with bureaucratic stumbling blocks and in some cases blatant frustrations by some particular people in the sector.

But reacting to Mr Butler?s concerns, the Roads Transport Minister told a local radio station JOYFM, that due diligence carried out on Mr. Butler and his operations shows that he is not what he claims to be.

? Anyone who wants to come through this system has to go through some due diligence. We have done our diligence on Luke Butler and his company and I want to assure this nation that Luke Butler is not worth considering because he is involved in many funny deals even in his home country, Australia,? he says.

However an industry insider is not convinced about the minister's explanation.

"Dr. Anane should stop contradicting himself? If he really carried out due diligence on Luke Butler, then why did he offer him a license to operate in the first place"?

Afra Airlines was established last year and issued with what company says is a highly restricted Air Carrier?s License. But that license has been withdrawn following its decision to enter into a commercial cooperation with CTK CityLink. A move Afra Airlines considers unfair. But Dr Anane insists that the right decisions were taken in consultations with relevant stakeholders.

? I want Ghana to be reassured that we did our best and we consulted relevant authorities in relevant sectors of the country. Mr Butler?s aircraft that he is referring to is currently sitting in Jarkata airport with debts,? he says.



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