The Minister of Transport Dzifa Attivor, has resigned over the bus re-branding saga.
Her resignation comes barely a day after a report commissioned by the Chief of Staff into the controversial contract was presented.
Last week the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, waded into the controversy over the spraying and rebranding of 116 new intra-city buses, and directed the Attorney General ”to review the contract and associated payment(s).” A letter to the Attorney General dated December 17, 2015 asked her to revert to the Chief of Staff with her findings by close of day December 22.
Government’s decision to spend a whopping GHC 3.6 million on rebranding 116 buses has angered many Ghanaians. Government has come under massive public criticism for spending such a huge sum on these buses especially at a time when the country is facing a difficult economic challenges. While some advertisers have pointed out that government massively overpaid for the re-branding others have suggested that the state could have generated Ghc500,000 monthly if it had allowed the buses to be re-branded with commercial advertisement.
Meanwhile a detailed pro-forma invoice for the re-branding of the buses revealed that stickers on each bus cost Ghc11, 000. The pro-forma invoice dated 17th July 2015, and signed by the Accounts Officer of Smarttys Management and Productions and copied to the Ministry of Transport, put the total cost of branding for each bus at Ghc30,420.00. Smarttys Management and Productions is owned by Selassie Ibrahim, an actress cum entrepreneur and TV personality.
The Chief of Staff, has received for study, the report on the review of the contract for the spraying and branding of 116 buses for the Metro Mass Bus Transit Company which cost GhȻ3.6million.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, submitted the report on Tuesday in line with a directive from the Chief of Staff.
Mr Debrah in a statement following the massive public outcry against the significant amount that was used for the branding, ordered the AG to probe the matter and furnish his office with her findings by close of work on Tuesday December 22.
It is unclear what is contained in the AG report.
Smarttys Productions, the company which won the contract to brand the buses is also yet to officially comment on the matter but industry experts have said the amount charged by the company, owned by a known activist of the ruling party, actress Selassie Ibrahim was outrageous.
A pro-forma invoice dated 17th July 2015, and signed by the Accounts Officer of Smarttys Management and Productions and copied to the Ministry of Transport, put the total cost of branding for each bus at GhȻ30,420.00.