The state-owned transport company, Intercity STC (ISTC) expects to have some 100 new buses added to its existing fleet in the coming days.
It follows a new agreement signed with Nordic Logistics Company as part of initiatives towards reclaiming its market leader in the transport services sector.
Under the 6-year agreement, 300 more buses are also to be procured and operated over time. This is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement expected to create over 300 direct and indirect jobs.
The Chief Executive of Nordic Logistics Limited, Nana Atakora Bonsra, said: “We are excited about this partnership with ISTC which will bring back the once vibrant and reliable bus operator back on its feet.
“Negotiations with the bus supplier, VOLVO is far advanced and all modalities both locally and internationally are in place for the smooth take off of the project”
According to the transactional advisor, Dusk Capital Limited, ISTC would neither pay any money upfront for the buses nor acquire the fleet outright. It will operate the fleet with its partners for the profit to be shared between the two parties on a pre-agreed percentage.
Nordic Logistics Company shall be responsible for payment of the salaries of Intercity STC drivers to be recruited, maintenance, servicing, fueling and insurance of the 100 new buses.
Operational challenges such as the lack of buses have over the years adversely affected the fortunes of the once vibrant ISTC, which offered transport services between Accra and all major regional capitals in the country as well as other West African countries such as Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Benin other among others.
According to Nana Atakora Bonsra, the new arrangement should therefore also lead to a revamp in all these routes plied by the company.
Intercity STC has over the past few years relied on its shareholders including SSNIT, with 80 percent stake, and government, with 20 percent stake, to pay its numerous creditors.
This new commercial arrangement is, therefore, meant turn the financial and operational fortunes of the company and thereby reduce its reliance on major shareholders for assistance.