General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
The Deputy Executive Secretary of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Maame Afia Akoto, has revealed that her outfit has asked the Attorney General (AG) to review the deal involving the purchase of 350 vehicles under the previous administration.
According to her, checks had revealed that the cars which were being sold for $9, 000 in the showrooms of MAC Auto & Spare Parts Ghana Limited, had been purchased by the government at a cost of about $16, 000 per vehicle from the same company resulting in a reported loss of about $2 million.
The vehicles were meant for the use of drivers from the Ghana Roads and Transport Union (GPRTU) on a hire purchase basis.
The Statesman Newspaper reported earlier on Tuesday that the 100 Chevrolet Spark vehicles, 150 Chevrolet Aveo vehicles and 100 Izusu buses, had been “left at the mercy of the weather” after GPRTU refused to buy them at the excessive prices.
MASLOC has asked the AG’s department to peruse the contracts after they were notified of the inflated prices by the commercial drivers who felt that they were being taken advantage of.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Maame Afia Akoto stated that, the AG was reviewing the contract with MAC Ghana Limited, while negotiations were ongoing with the company over a possible reduction of the prices.
She also denied suggestions that the new management of MASLOC had refused to give out the vehicles procured under the Mahama administration for political reasons.
“We aren’t going to abandon vehicles just because they were purchased by the old administration. We would want to give the best to the people and for that reason, we’ve asked the AG to go through the documents and asked the company to come down on the price and we’re hoping we get somewhere.
It’s been going back and forth from February till now, and the company has dropped some of the prices but it doesn’t make any difference in terms of what the GPRTU executives are looking for,” she said.
“The GPRTU executives initially had a fair idea of how much they could [afford] and the types of cars they wanted. What we came to meet was a totally different price compared to what the executives of the GPRTU were informed about. Currently, the prices in their showrooms, you can get the saloon cars for $9, 000, it runs through. On the agreement, what we have is about $16, 000. It had to take the GPRTU executives to draw our attention to the prices that the [cars] are going for in their showrooms and we sent people to go and check” she explained.
‘No modifications or enhancements’
There have been suggestions that the increased prices might be as a result of modifications to the cars to ensure they are fit for the purpose.
However, according to Afia Akoto, the cars were not enhanced in any way which could have ballooned the cost by almost 40%.
“These cars are not for personal use. These are commercial cars. What’s in their showrooms currently, is exactly what we have in our custody. It’s not that they are different from what they have in their showrooms. These are not personal cars that you can say some enhancements were done to the taste of the user,” she said.
“If you are to buy things to help the middle and lower class to get something to do and you end up doubling and tripling the prices, you ask yourself are you out there to help them or kill them?” she asked.