83 MASLOC Buses For GPRTU

Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei Opare cutting the tape. INSET: MASLOC buses

GOVERNMENT
YESTERDAY presented 83 brand new 33-seater buses to the leadership of the Ghana
Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU).

This was
under the Micro Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) scheme intended to
support Ghanaians. The GPRTU is expected to pay back the cost of the buses in
instalments.

The buses
were procured in 2016 under the previous Mahama NDC administration at
outrageous prices, raising suspicion and issues of corruption.

This compelled
the Akufo-Addo administration to reduce the cost by 53.5 % to enable their
purchase by the GPRTU.

Chief of
Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, who performed the handover ceremony, said upon
assumption of office, government realised the price of the buses were too
exorbitant.

She said
that was because later investigations revealed that the price of the buses in
London was found to be far higher than that of the retail market prices at the
local outlet of the same supplier. However, an initial price renegotiation with
the supplier yielded only a one per cent reduction.

She said
that made it virtually impossible for GPRTU to acquire the vehicles for
commercial transport operations on an economically viable basis, which compelled
government to intervene and subsidize the price by 53.5 %.

She
explained that from the initial price of GH¢705,550, it had been reduced to GH¢328,000.

On his part,
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Steve Amoah, said apart from being able to set
up offices in over 200 district offices across the nation, the scheme had been able
to disburse over GH¢60 million, with over 70 per cent going to women.

Currently, MASLOC’s
recovery rate of the new loan portfolio is about 65%.

In the not-too-distant
future, the entire MASLOC operations will be automated nationwide with
integrated ICT system – about 85% completed.

Its
turnaround time has been reduced to about three weeks while interest rate has
been reduced by 50% from 24% per annum to 12% annum.

Under the
current circumstance, Steve Amoah said an amount of GH¢20,000 can be borrowed from MASLOC without
collateral, representing a 100% increase from the previous arrangement.

Chairman of the GPRTU Kwame Kuma, who took delivery of keys to the buses, thanked government for its effort.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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