By Gifty Arthur
Members of the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), were last week thrown into a state of ecstasy, when the president, John Dramani Mahama, presented over 200 vehicles to them to enhance their work.
With chants of “JM toaso” the drivers, commended and expressed delight to the president for honouring his promise to re-tool the private sector, just as he did for the public.
The initiative was part of measures by the government to transform the private transport sector, after it revived the public sector with several fleets of vehicles.
They are 100 ISUZU buses and 250 Chevrolet saloon cars for taxi purposes aimed at enhancing efficient public transportation system in the private sector.
The vehicles, which were presented to members of the Union last Thursday at the forecourt of the State House in Accra, are on hire purchase arrangement through the Microfinance and Small Scale Loans Center (MASLOC) under the Office of The President.
It is expected that, they will significantly enhance public sector transportation and also bring lasting comfort to the commuting Ghanaian public.
Recently, the president retooled the intercity State Transport Company (STC) with some fifty Scania vehicles after it near collapse.
The government, has also supplied the Metro Mass Transport Company (MMT) with 116 brand new air-conditioned buses. They are fitted with USB phone charging ports and Wi-Fi.
The John Mahama government, has also procured some 245 brand new luxuries air-conditioned buses for the Aayalolo project started this year. The presentation, follows a request by the Union to the president when it leaders met with him at the Flagstaff House – Kanda.
In a statement, the president said, the presentation was consistent with his government’s overall policy to expand opportunities for all and ensure a firm foundation for the socio-economic transportation, through the provision of safe means of transport to its people.
President Mahama, said the government needs the private sector as a true partner in development, while urging them to maintain regular servicing of the vehicles.
He said “Government considers the private sector as a partner in the growth and development of our country and believes that the traveling public, deserves comfort at affordable prices regardless of the nature of transport they utilize.
Mr. Mahama, said his government was not only focusing on developing state of the art critical infrastructure that would improve the well-being of the people and sustain economic growth, but it was also working on creating opportunities for many citizens to create wealth and contribute actively to economic growth and national development.
He announced to the gathering that, government was going to turn MASLOC into a Micro Bank, to make it services readily available to the public.
The President, encouraged the excited drivers to remain committed to the repayment schedule. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MASLOC, Mrs Sedina Tamakloe Attionu said her outfit has created job opportunities, especially for the youth in the transport sector, saying they have provided 1, 331 saloon cars for commercial purposes.
She said, the MASLOC vehicles, have contributed to safety on the roads. She said, the presentation was an attempt to contribute to the president’s commitment to create jobs.
“This is a clear demonstration, that a comprehensive well thought out approach has been applied to improve the public and private transportation system in the country, she said.
The General Secretary of the Union, Alahji Issah Kalifa, commended the president for “walking the talk” to improve their sector. We are most grateful”, he added.
He assured, the vehicles would be put to use, adding the money, will be paid promptly as promised.