THE Ghana Meteorological Agency (G-Met), has threatened to withdraw its services if Ghana Airport Company Limited fails to settle its indebtedness of over $2 million within the shortest possible time.
The Airport Company has failed to pay the amount it owed the agency, since 2008 for services rendered.
This has made it absolutely difficult for the agency to operate effectively as it has no funds to replace all obsolete equipment with brand new ones, as well as train the staff to meet modern or international standards.
But Dr. Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, intervened and said that such an act, if embarked upon, would be disastrous to the Aviation Industry in particular, and the nation as a whole.
He said that Ghana needed accurate, appropriate, adequate and timely pieces of information on the weather to protect its citizens and other national assets from catastrophies.
The minister was informed of the agency’s financial predicament, when he paid a familiarisation visit to its head office in Accra, yesterday.
The Director-General, Group Captain (rtd) Stephen Komla said that about 60 per cent of G-Met’s internally generated funds (IGFs) was lost annually as stakeholders failed to pay for the services rendered to them.
He stated that the Ghana Meteorological Agency was under resourced to properly cater for its 300 stations dotted across the country.
According to him, every airport in Ghana was supposed to have five weather forecasters, but because of lack of funds to train personnel, the Kumasi, Takoradi, Sunyani and Tamale airports have no forecasters to man these areas, and described the situation as “quite worrying and unfortunate”.
The Director-General said that it was more expensive to acquire equipment for G-Met, citing the purchase of 15 thermometers alone could cost as much as £18,000 and wondered where and how such huge amounts could be obtained to buy other equally important gadgets for effective and efficient work.
Group Capt. Komla said that the agency presently needed about $200,000 to train forecasters to meet international requirements.
“We have not been able to meet the Quality Management System Standard due to financial constraints,” he lamented.
Group Capt. Komla said that some Japanese technicians are currently at Bole, Yendi and Salaga, all in the Northern Region, installing the Automatic Weather Observation Systems (AWOS).
On human resource development, he pointed out that G-met had been depending on the charity of its Fellowship scholarships to train its personnel abroad and appealed to the government to come to their aid since such benevolence would not be sustainable.
Dr. Boamah intimated that with the advent of the climatic change which had taken a global dimension, it behoved G-Met to continue to offer its committed and dedicated services to the good people of the country, and pledged to employ every means necessary, to ensure that the agency enjoyed the benefits of its labour by finding a lasting solution to the nagging issues.