Kumasi, July 15, GNA - Neoplan Ghana, on Friday handed over 21 new VDL buses to the Metro Mass Transit Company (MMT) at a ceremony in Kumasi.
They are the first batch of the 100 buses to be assembled by the company under the Netherlands Government Development (ORET) related export transaction programme. The total cost of the buses including the assembling and fittings is 14.6 million Euros.
The remaining 79 will be completed by the end of the year. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, said the development of any economy depended to a large extent upon the efficient and effective transportation system to facilitate the speedy movement of people, goods and services. He said to achieve the maximum and intended impact in reliability, efficiency and comfort, the current public transport system must be improved to attract all classes of users, adding that, the ultimate aim of the Government Discriminatory and Incentive measures would be to protect the use and investment in the public transport.
Dr Anane said the buses formed part of the 250 others expected to be supplied to the MMT Company under the Dutch Government Concessionary Financing.
He urged transport unions and associations in the country not to see the introduction of the Mass transport system as a way to push them out of business, but rather, as an effort by the government and other shareholders to complement their operations to ease transport problems in the country.
Mr Arie Van der Wiel, Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said reliable and efficient public transportation systems were the hallmark of all well-organised societies and said the introduction of the MMT services would help boost the economy of Ghana. Mr Peter Linder, German Ambassador to Ghana, said Neoplan had become a success story of promoting the private sector in Ghana, adding that, the company had gained national significance in the transfer of bus building technologies, employment of local labour and the use of materials for its operations.
He said the German government would continue to assist Ghana to develop its infrastructure especially in the road sector. Mr Helmut Clever, Managing Director of Neoplan, said the company had stood the test of time by producing quality and durable buses for the MMT and thanked the Ghana government for its support.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, who chaired the function, said effective and efficient transport system was a necessary ingredient for the development of the economy and said the government was doing everything possible to improve the transport system and reduce fuel consumption in the country. 15 July 05