Nana Bans New Cars

Ban on purchase of new vehicles

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has placed a ban on the purchase of new vehicles by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

A letter written by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, dated March 21, 2017, said the ban holds until further notice.

MDAs have been directed to make use of the “existing fleet of vehicles in their respective transport pools.”

Mrs Osei-Opare, however, noted that in extraordinary circumstances, MDAs that want to procure new vehicles “shall seek for and obtain the prior express written authorisation.”

The directive comes on the back of missing 208 state vehicles which was blamed on officials of the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

Those vehicles were sold to former President Mahama’s appointees as parting gifts at very ridiculous prices. Most of the vehicles went to people who had no specifically defined designation in the NDC administration.

Speaking to the issue on Joy FM yesterday, Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the ban was necessary in order to channel the resources that would otherwise have been used for the purchase of vehicles into the implementation of government’s “ambitious” projects.

“Capital expenditure is used for purchasing vehicles, but in this budget, the president wants to spend it on the productive sector of the economy,” he said.

He said the president wants the way things are done to be changed because the nation is living in extraordinary times.

“These are not normal times,” he noted.

Mr Abu Jinapor said President Akufo-Addo has been using a vehicle purchased in 2007 since his investiture and has not found the need to purchase a new one.

“That’s what he has been riding in [and] he is working to ensure that we manage the resources of the country judiciously,” he added.

The deputy chief of staff said until there is a review the moratorium remains a policy of the Auto-Addo-led government.

President of policy think-tank, IMANI-Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, has described the development as “good news.”

He said the ban shows that the Akufo-Addo administration wants to make do with the vehicles in the pool of the presidency.

“We should be grateful for small mercies,” he said, wondering why government needs over 700 vehicles before it operates.