Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi, and Member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, has called for a scheme to secure all state vehicles with quality insurance policies to help save lives.
He said all State vehicles remained uninsured, a situation that denied public servants the needed cover, and remained a dent on the nation’s public governance structure.
The MP was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the Committee’s session in Ho to dissect audit reports of public institutions in 2018.
He said the Committee had dealt with audit-flagged reports detailing state vehicles involved in fatal accidents, and which were all not insured.
“It has emerged that a lot of the Government vehicles are not insured, and this is emerging because of the infractions the auditors have flagged in respect of some of the vehicles that have been involved on accidents, so it is a serious matter within the public service that state vehicles are not insured, not even with third party insurance policies.
“The problem this pose is that, first we endanger the lives of our drivers who are public servants who have been recruited to serve as drivers or to drive our public officials around, but more importantly, we endanger the lives of public servants that we put in these vehicles. So, in times of accidents or there are fatalities, nothing goes to the families of the victims by way of accident compensation,” Mr. Dafeamekpor stated.
He said the Committee had taken a “strong view” of the issue and “may be making a strong directive to Government that all Government vehicles should be insured.
“The enormity of this matter will hit you if you take into consideration the number of public vehicles that we have,” he added.
“If we have over 18,000 government vehicles and about 98 to 99 per cent of them are not insured, that is the problem that the Public Accounts Committee has uncovered, and it’s such an indictment on our public governance structure that public vehicles do not have insurance policies, and that also breaches our insurance laws, which are road traffic regulations”.
The MP however admitted the cost, and said the premium payment would “fall heavily on the purse of Government,” but was necessary to sustain livelihoods caught in the disasters, and help deter others from going contrary.
“But this is the law and government must comply for private persons to also comply, and it is such a major finding that would need to be addressed by the people and the government.”
Mr. Dafeamekpor said the Committee’s resolve to hand over public institutions found violating the laws for prosecution would require the support of the judiciary towards creating a corruption deterring environment.
He said the close to 200 infractions for which individuals and institutions would be prosecuted, were recorded among procurement breaches, and that the Committee would consider more infractions to be added to the threshold.
“Increasingly we will use this prosecution referrals to help seal the leakages and the seepages in the system,” the MP assured.
The Public Accounts Committee’s sessions in Ho covers institutions in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, and Oti Regions, and is the fourth stop of its nationwide hearing tours.