General News of Tuesday, 9 May 2017
A majority of government vehicles auctioned to the public have no engines, gearboxes and other parts, the Head of Technical Services at Intercity STC has revealed.
Mr. Glory Kodzo Bani suspects those vital body parts might have been removed and used to service other broken down vehicles belonging to some of the agencies.
“In most of the cases, that was what happened,” Mr. Bani told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. He added: “The vehicles were not complete, many parts were taken off; some have no engine, no gear box [and] no tyres. They were just left closer to the sea and by the time you get there they are all rusted.”
He wondered why officials at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) “submit to you proposals for the valuation of certain vehicles…but you get to the place you see a two-year vehicle with the body rusted, two years vehicle with no engine, two years vehicle with no suspension”.
“Now if you are in the position of the valuer and taking all the processes into consideration you are more or less going to value just body because that is what you see but it is assumed by the public that you valued a two-year-old vehicle,” he said.
The sale of government vehicles has dominated media discussions recently as a section of the public believes the vehicles are priced too low. Some of the vehicles were auctioned for GHC1,000. A Nissan Patrol S/W with registration number GV 1285 U was auctioned for GHC4,000.
A Nissan double cabin pick-up with registration number GV 1481 U, was also sold at GH¢2,000, while a Mitsubishi double cabin pick-up went for GHC1,000. A Galaxy motorcycle was sold at GHC30.00, while FY motorcycle was also sold at GHC¢50.00.
There have also been reported cases where valuers demand money to put ridiculously low values on vehicles.
But Mr. Bani, whose department is charged with the responsibility to value state vehicles, said several factors are taken into consideration including CIF cost, insurance cost as well as prevailing exchange rate in assessing that values of the vehicles.
Vehicles sold cheap?
Although the Valuer admitted to some extent that the figures sometimes appear to be ridiculous, he maintained the condition of the vehicles also plays an important role in determining the values.
“My vehicle may have covered a distance of 100,000km/h depending on the use within the same year, yours may not have covered even a distance of 25,000km/. How then do you expect that the two vehicles should be valued the same if they were brought for valuation?”
According to Mr. Bani, the actual value of the auctioned vehicles goes up as the new owners would then have to pay customs duties. He clarified that because they are state vehicles, the state normally does not pay “the taxes the Customs charges so they come with the cost lower than what is expected”.
“So we would not be able to take into consideration what has not been expended in the calculations, so the values would appear low. But in fact, when those vehicles are sold out the individuals go to pay for the duties; that actually makes the value higher than it was,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the vehicles valued in 2013 by the Intercity STC have no documentation covering them. This Mr. Bani claimed, was the result of the heavy flood experienced in Accra on June 3, 2015.
“Unfortunately, I could not lay hands on any of the documents because of the June 3 flood. It took everything away so it is difficult for me to know exactly what was the condition of the motorbikes at the time when it was given that value”.
In another development, an auctioneer involved in the irregular auctioning of 24 vehicles at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Alexander Adjei of Alex Mart, risks losing his licence or being suspended for breaching the Auction Sales Act.
MoFA staff even before the auctioning process started allocated all the vehicles to themselves, resulting in a situation where the auctioneer earned money for no work done, a report said. He also pocketed a whopping GHS33,203 as his seven percent commission on the sale of the vehicles.
President of the Auctioneers Association of Ghana Carlvis Okine says it is strange that the auctioneer pocketed the entire 7% of the commission without doing the actual auction. “It is not done. It is very strange,” he added.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show via phone, Mr. Okine said ideally, Mr. Adjei was entitled to 3% of the commission and so must refund the 4% to the state while the association prepares sanctions against him. “He has to refund the [4%] of the money and he will face a disciplinary committee.”