Gov’t earns US$1.16m in royalties from airport COVID-19 test


Frontiers Healthcare Services (FHS) has paid a total of US$1,157,300 to the Government of Ghana, through the Ghana Airports Company (GAC), in royalties from COVID-19 testing procedures at the Kotoka International Airport.

Following a summon to the Minister of Transport by the Houses of Parliament, the Minister, Kweku Ofori Asiamah revealed that the figure was raised between October and December 2020. The amount reported by the Minister was raised before ECOWAS’ directive to members to reduce the payment from US$150 to US$50.

Mr. Asiamah noted that the contract between the Ghana Airport Company, on behalf of government, and Frontiers Health Services stipulated a ratio of US$10 to US$140 out of the US$150 testing fee. He also added that, per the concession agreement, Frontiers Healthcare Services paid US$10 to the Airport Company as royalties.

“The concession agreement between the Ghana Airport Company Limited and the Frontiers Healthcare Services for the conduct of COVID-19 testing at KIA started on September 4, 2020. The measure was taken to limit the importation of the disease into the country through KIA, which is the foremost entry point by air passengers.

The strategy was to test and isolate the infected persons for treatment at various treatment centres. Per the concession agreement, Ghana Airport Company was supposed to receive US$10 per test conducted, and Frontiers Healthcare was to keep the rest as their service charge and the total conduct per test was $150.

“Between September and December 2020, the total amount realised from the COVID-19 testing at the KIA was US$17,590,500. So as per the concession agreement, Frontiers Healthcare Services retained US$16,202,200 for its services between the stated period.

The Ghana Airport Company Limited on the other hand received US$1,167,300 for the same period as royalties accruing from COVID-19 testing. During the period under consideration, a total number of 117,187 came through KIA, out of this number, 115,730 paid for the testing, while 1,157 passengers consisting of children between the ages of 5-12 were exempted from paying for the testing,” he said.

Recently, Frontier Health Service, noted that one of the highest costs on its operational budget is the regular reconfiguration of machinery with new COVID-19 variants detected anywhere in the world.

When the parliamentary select committee on health visited the COVID-19 testing facility at the airport to gain first-hand experience of its operation and clarify some issues which have cropped up in recent times, Managing Director of the company, Dr. Kudzo Seneadza, said FHS has been diligent with its work at the KIA – producing test results in 30 minutes and so far being able to “pick up all the variants” the country has encountered.

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