THE Private Sector Fleet Renewal Project which aims at providing a safe, efficient and affordable mass transport service to the people was yesterday launched in Accra by President J.A. Kufuor.
The ceremony involved the inauguration of 250 buses from China to be distributed to individuals and corporate transport organisations including the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), Services, Inter-City STC and the Ghana Supporters Union.
The buses produced by Yutong Company of China are being given to the beneficiaries on hire purchase basis.
They have three years to repay with three months moratorium.
One hundred and seventy five of the buses have 51 seating capacity each, while 75 have a 33 seating capacity.
The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and the Inter-Continental Bank pre-financed the acquisition of the buses while J.A. Plant Pool, contracted by Yutong Company, will be in charge of the provision of spare parts and technical services.
President Kufuor said the inauguration of the buses had confirmed the government's commitment to the private sector development and public-private partnership which should drive the nation's development agenda from now on.
Government, over the years, had stressed the need for entrepreneurial development within the society and expressed happiness that many of the conditions that promoted entrepreneurship were being met.
The President said that many foreign companies had chosen to invest in Ghana either by themselves or through joint partnership which were evident in many sectors of the economy.
He called on the beneficiaries of the buses to manage them in a business-like manner to enable them to pay the loans in good time.
He said the buses had been made to the country's specification to make them durable and urged the owners and drivers to appreciate that and handle them well to derive good returns on the investment.
The Minister of Transportation, Dr Richard Anane, was hopeful that the inauguration of the buses would enhance road transport in the country and gave the assurance that his ministry will continue to promote such ventures.
The Board Chairman of ADB, Paul Koranteng, said the bank saw the need to support the project because it was found worthy.
The Manager of Retail Banking of the Inter-Continental Bank, Mr Lolu Akindele said his outfit would continue to support such noble cause in the country.