SSNIT Hotels: Your son’s bid didn’t meet our criteria – Osafo-Maafo replies to Freddie Blay - Onlinetimesgh

SSNIT Hotels: Your son’s bid didn’t meet our criteria – Osafo-Maafo replies to Freddie Blay

The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Kofi Bosompem Osafo-Maafo has rejected claims by the former National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay that a $200 million bid by his son to purchase 60 percent stake in its hotels was ignored.

Addressing the press on Monday, July 8, Mr Osafo-Maafo clarified that the proposal by Spartan Ives did not make it through the first stage of the bid process adding that the envelope was never opened.

“The claim that Mr Freddy Blay has made that his son’s company, Spartan Ives bid 150 to 200 million dollars and SSNIT turned it down cannot be substantiated.

“For the process, you first go through an evaluation panel and score. Once scored and you get past the pass mark we then assess your financial proposal. That is the process, which the law requires us to do.

“We did exactly that. Spartan Ives did not get past the evaluation stage. Their technical proposal was weak and they scored below the required 50% so their financial proposal was not even assessed. The envelope was not even opened. It was returned to them. That is what the law requires us to do.

“So to say that SSNIT received an offer of 150 to 200 million dollars and turned it down is not accurate because the offer was never made, the offer was never opened,” he stressed.

Mr Blay confirmed in an interview that his 34-year-old son, Kwaw Blay, bid for the purchase of SSNIT hotels.

According to Mr Blay, his son’s company, Spartan Ives Limited, offered up to $200 million to acquire the 60 percent stake in the hotels, but the Trust denied him the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Mr Osafo-Maafo has defended the decision to sell 60% of its shares in four hotels to a private investor, describing the move as the only viable option to revive the fortunes of the hotels.

The hotels include Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Resort, Elmina Beach Resort, and Ridge Royal Hotel.

Mr Osafo-Maafo explained that due diligence was done and changing management was not considered feasible due to the continuous losses the hotels had been accruing.

“We’ve been through quite a lengthy process to do so. Bear in mind, we’ve also tried having external management companies running the SSNIT hotels and that hasn’t resolved the problem either.

“So, for us, we look at it twofold, that we are looking to resolve a problem and do so with the introduction of a strategic investor and we outlined the reasons there.”

“Consistent losses by almost all of our hotels. I know you are aware that Labadi doesn’t make a profit, but the returns are below [par]. They haven’t paid us any dividends except Labadi. Labadi Beach Resort only started paying dividends for the last 2 years. They haven’t from inception,” he stated.


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