Government has spent about GHC 3,649,044 on rebranding 116 buses for the Metro Mass Rapid Transit (MMRT) imported to improve the transport system in the country.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who made the revelation said re-branding for each of the buses cost GHC 31,457.28, leading to a total of GHC 3,649,044.75 for the 116 buses.
He quoted these figures from the 2015 annual report on the Petroleum Funds.
Contributing to the debate to approve the 2016 annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Transport on Tuesday, Mr. Mensah – Bonsu said the GH 31,457.28 for each bus is too huge and cannot be tolerated.
But the Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor in her response to the claim by the Minority Leader said she did not have the details of the re-branding at hand and promised to make it available to the House at a later date.
Presenting the Roads and Transport Committee’s report, Chairman of the Committee, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie said the 2015 approved budget for the Ministry and its agencies were “drastically revised downwards to GH 50,047,963 by the Ministry of Finance” from GH 179, 767,991.
Mr. Chaie said the reason for the revision ” was that, the expected revenue inflow was particularly affected by the slump in the international oil price which the committee is agreeable to .”
He noted that the “committee however could not review the 2015 ceiling for the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) item since the mid year review did not specify that amount reduction for the Ministry”
The Chairman of the Committee further indicated that there is shortage of critical staffing at agencies such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), and Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA).
According to the report, the GRDA needs more engineers because the only engineer at the Authority is its Chief Executive Officer.
The report further indicated that “the performance of domestic aviation is currently faced with a challenge which has the potential of crippling the once vibrant industry in the country.
While the foreign international airlines are exempted from taxes in the importation of spare parts.”
It added that the recent introduction of Value Added Tax on domestic fares has shot up airfare, making it expensive for many people to use air transport resulting in low patronage.
“Further, tax on jet fuels has made the price of the commodity high as compared to other countries in the sub region. Indeed, the domestic airline operators have communicated to the Committee, the difficulty in meeting their optimal operational cost in view of the enumerated taxes,” it said.
Contributing to the debate, Member of Parliament for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu said the staffing challenges at the various agencies will affect their operations, adding that country’s programmes with the International Monetary Fund has worsened the employment situation.
The House finally approved an amount of GHC 126, 317, 102 for the Transport Ministry for the 2016 financial year.