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18.10.2005 General News

Reports on vehicles for ministers are misleading

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Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - The Minister of Information on Tuesday described as misleading attempts to dislocate government's focus over the mode and cost of purchasing government vehicles. It said the practice was a vile propaganda aimed at creating unnecessary mistrust in government.

Mr. Dan Botwe, Minister of Information was reacting to publications that sought to say that government was wasting taxpayers' money frivolously and on luxury cars for its officials.

"The acquisition of new vehicles is based on certain parameters, important among them being the type of engine, capacity, horse power, transmission, warranty terms, cost, aesthetic designs and after sales support," he said.

He noted that government, as others before it, had used a mix of vehicles at various times and never one set of vehicles at any particular time.

"What this means is that we may see different government officials using different types of vehicles at the same time and it would be erroneous for anybody to conclude that government officials have been going through a whole range of vehicles, one after the other as certain reports indicate."

Mr Botwe said government was adopting a strategic approach to phase out the use of more expensive vehicles for others that are less more expensive with lower overhead costs.

He said the Rover 75 brand of cars imported to augment the current fleet of vehicles was not 34,000 dollars, but rather 17,000 euros or 204 million cedis.

"... The price is nowhere near the 34,000 dollars or the 337 million dollars quoted by the publications."

Mr Botwe said the 406 and 607 Peugeot models cost 226 million cedis and 348 million cedis respectively.

He said the unit cost of the Rover 75 is cheaper than other vehicles in the same category currently in use by state officials. State officials currently use saloon cars such as the VW Passat, Toyota Avensis, Mercedes Benz 2003/2004 models and the Peugeot 406/607 models.

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