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18.11.2008 Business & Finance

Big boost for Transport Sector- as ADB, IBG procure 250 buses valued at $11M

By Stephen Odoi-Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and the Intercontinental Bank Ghana (IBG) have procured 250 coach buses worth $11 million, to private transport owners in the country.

The initiative is under the Government of Ghana's “Private Transport Sector Fleet Renewal Project”, which aims at systematically replacing old and decrepit vehicles in the transport system, and providing modern, durable and comfortable transportation for inter-city travels, throughout the country.

Additionally, the overall objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of the road transport sector to increase its fleet of buses, and to provide safe and affordable transport services to Ghanaians.

This has become possible, through a coalition of efforts by the ADB and the IBG, which provided the financing, while the vehicles were sourced by JA Plant Pool at sustainable terms, and as well as supporting the effort with servicing and parts.

Commissioning the project in Accra yesterday, the President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor observed that the provision of the 250 buses under the project would reduce the many road carnages in the country.

He called on the beneficiaries of the buses, to exhibit the culture of maintenance, so as to prolong the lifespan of the vehicles. “This would help them pay back the loans in good time, to enable others benefit from the initiative”, he noted.

President Kufuor advised Ghanaians to be disciplined, committed and determined in their work, in order to achieve success, saying “these are the ingredients of productivity which could propel the country to attain the middle-income status timely.”

He assured the country's development partners, that Ghana was open to all genuine investors whose goal is to achieve mutual and beneficial outcomes on investment for both parties.

The Minister of Transportation, Dr. Richard Anane, noted that the success of the Kufuor Buses” in intra-city transport, was a testimony of government's commitment to providing quality and affordable transport services to Ghanaians.

Under the Private Transport Sector Fleet Renewal Project, he stated that the government was facilitating the empowerment of the private transportation sector to improve its service.

The General Manager of JA Plant Pool, Mr. Isaac Krampah, was emphatic to say that “JA Plant Pool's partnership with Yutong Company of China will enable us to distribute Yutong buses in Ghana, and we are happy to work with transport organizations in Ghana, under the umbrella of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council.”

Through this partnership, he disclosed that the Yutong Company had trained Ghanaian mechanics, both in China and Ghana, and had been adequately resourced to provide valuable after sales services at centres in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi, all in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Western regions.

Mr. Krampah was quick to add that plans were afoot to open centres in other regions of the country to provide just-in-time maintenance for transport operators.

The General Manager used the occasion to appeal to Ghanaians, that the collaborating banks would extend credit facilities to credible institutions, organised groups and business organisations with regular cash flow, and urged them to use the opportunity to maximise their businesses.