General News of Thursday, 17 December 2015
A detailed pro-forma invoice for the re-branding of the 116 Metro Mass Transit Buses, available to citifmonline.com, has revealed that stickers on each bus cost Ghc11, 000.
The pro-forma invoice dated 17th July 2015, and signed by the Accounts Officer of Smarttys Management and Productions and copied to the Ministry of Transport, put the total cost of branding for each bus at Ghc30,420.00.
Smarttys Management and Productions is owned by Selassie Ibrahim, an actress and TV personality.
Government has been criticized for spending as much as Ghc3.6million on re-branding 116 buses, at a time when the country is facing a difficult energy crisis among other challenges.
The buses, which are in the national colours of Ghana, have been embossed with the pictures of all Ghana’s former Presidents, and the current President, John Dramani Mahama.
Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has kicked against the Transport Ministry’s decision to expend such a colossal amount merely to re-brand buses.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Minority Leader said, “Information that I have is that the ministry has made provision of 3,649,000 of ABFA to re-brand the 116 buses that are parked here at the premises of Parliament.”
He quoted these figures from the 2015 annual report on the Petroleum Funds and noted that the money allocated translated to thirty-one thousand Ghana Cedis per re-branded bus.
Contributing to the debate to approve the 2016 annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Transport on Tuesday, the Minority Leader said the GH 31,457.28 for each bus is too huge and cannot be tolerated.
“Thirty one thousand Ghana cedis for the re-branding of one bus; Three hundred and ten million old cedis on the re-branding of one bus? That cannot be tolerated; and the Minister of Transport must explain herself” he firmly demanded.
The Minister of Transport, Dzifa Ativor, who was in Parliament when the Minority Leader made the comment, could not immediately explain the expenditure, but promised to furnish the house with the details later.