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Appiah-Ofori causes deferment on loan agreement for MMT

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Mr. Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori, Member of Parliament for Asikuna/Odoben/Brakwa, on Tuesday successfully argued for the deferment of that debate on a loan package for the procurement of 50 VDL Jonckheere buses and spare parts for the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company Limited.

He said until the company submitted an audited account, statement of account of the company and an amortisation schedule to make government certain that they would be able to service the debt, “this loan should not be granted”.

He noted that if this was not done, the burden of payment of this loan would rest on government.

The member was contributing to a motion on a loan agreement between the government of Ghana and the Commerzbank AG of Belgium for an amount of 8,210,129.00 Euros to finance the second batch of 50 VDL Jonkheere buses and spare parts for MMT.

He said in 2003, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took some loan and purchased 150 buses for the company.

Mr. Appiah Ofori argued that no proper account was rendered before and in 2006 he requested that the company should make payment before they could be given any loan.

He therefore enquired what the company was procuring vehicles for when they had failed to render account for the government approved loans.

He recalled that when he was serving on the select Committee for Finance in the previous Parliament, he drew attention to “these anomalies but were not heeded”.

Mr. Appiah-Ofori said: “We are dissipating resources in favour of this company. Is this right for us to sit unconcern for them to continue in their inefficiency?” he said.

“As far as I am concern, unless they satisfy this requirement they should not be given the loan”, he noted in an aggressive mood.

“MTT should not be a liability on government”, he stressed.

Papa Owusu Ankomah,Member for Sekondi, said the concerns of Mr. Appiah-Ofori were legitimate because it was the right thing to do.

He, however, said the attrition of the previous buses went high because the buses that could run only in the city ran all corners of the country resulting in the breakdown of most of them.

“We ought to strengthen the MTT” adding, even developed countries had public transport.

Mr. Joe Gidisu said several governments since independence attempted improving the public transport system but in some cases the right buses were not procured.

He however, said the new buses that should be procured should be durable and be able to stand the Ghanaian condition and called on the house to approve the loan.

Mr. Mathias Kwame Ntow, Member for Aowin, said in distributing the buses, all districts should be considered especially, the remote ones to reduce the transportation pressures.

When Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker, who chaired, asked Mr. Appiah-Ofori if he would agree to the suggestion that the loan agreement be approved as the committee impress upon MTT to address the issues, he said no.

Upon this, Mr Adjaho suspended debate on the motion until those issues were cleared.

Source: GNA

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