General News of Monday, 24 July 2017
Workers of the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) have appealed to the government to consult the company when acquiring buses to augment its fleet.
According to the staff, some of the buses that the government acquired became a liability because they were not compatible with the Ghanaian terrain and as such could not be used for the intended purposes.
The Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of the company, Mr D. Teye Tekutey, made the appeal when the sector Minister, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, paid a working visit to the MMT Regional Depot in Kumasi.
He said although the company was huge debt to the government, some of the debt could have been avoided if the technical staff of the company were consulted when acquiring the buses.
He said the staff were ready to give of their best to ensure that the company became profitable again.
According to Mr Tekutey who is also the Regional Accountant, it was high time the company was allowed to operate as a business entity devoid of political interference.
He said the political interference in the operations of the company in the past could be cited as one of the main causes of the near collapse of the company and pleaded with the government to give the management the free hand to work.
The Deputy Managing Director in charge of Operations, Mr Albert Adu-Boahen, earlier briefed the minister on some of the innovations the company had implemented to boost its revenues.
He said from the total fleet of 1200 buses, the company currently had less than 500 buses in operation as most of them had broken down.
Aside from that, he said some practices of the staff were not also helping matters and had contributed to a drop in the revenue of the company.
Automated weighing system
Consequently, Mr Adu-Boahen said the company had introduced an automated weighing system where goods being carried by the buses would be weighed and the rate determined by the weight, unlike previously where it was left at the discretion of the conductors and the drivers.
The new scheme was also to ensure that all the money realised from the carriage of such goods got to the company.
Again, Mr Adu-Boahen said as part of measures to ensure that the buses were well taken care of, management had decided to assign a bus to the two drivers who would be responsible for its roadworthiness.
That, he said, was a complete departure from the old practice where drivers did not know the bus they would drive the following day after parking the one they used at the end of the day.
Mr Asiamah commended the staff of the company for their hard work and dedication in spite of the challenges they were facing.
He said the government was aware of some of the challenges and would soon augment its fleet with new buses.
He said even though the MMT was introduced as a social intervention, the company should be able to break even if not make profit.
According to him, even though the company owed the state about GH¢150 million, the state would not allow it to collapse but would continue to support it to ensure that it provided the needed services to the public.
Mr Asiamah said even though the company was indebted to the state, he was aware that some companies also owed the company and asked the management to go after them to retrieve their money.
The minister also visited the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the State Transport Company (STC) and the Boankra Inland port.
He was accompanied by his deputy, Mr Nii Titus Glover and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck