‘These are not normal times’
By Nsikan Ikpe
If the recently appointed 110 ministers in Ghana thought they were in for an easy ride, that expectation is seriously being dampened through the recent ban placed on them to not buy new cars.
Apparently determined to keep costs under control, Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has placed an immediate ban on the purchase of new vehicles by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country, The Difference has learnt.
A letter written by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, dated March 21, 2017 said the ban holds until further notice.
MDAs have been directed to make use of the “existing fleet of vehicles in their respective transport pools.”
Mrs. Osei-Opare, however, noted that in extraordinary circumstances, MDAs that want to procure new vehicles “shall seek for and obtain the prior express written authorization.”
The directive comes on the back of missing 208 state vehicles which was blamed on officials of the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Speaking to the issue on Accra-based Joy FM yesterday [Monday, March 27, 2017], Deputy chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the ban was necessary in order to channel the resources that would otherwise have been used for the purchase of vehicles into the implementation of government’s “ambitious” projects.
“Capital expenditure is used for purchasing vehicles, but in this budget the president wants to spend it on the productive sector of the economy,” he said.
He said the president wants the way things are done to be changed because the nation is living in extraordinary times.
“These are not normal times,” he noted.
Mr. Abu Jinapor said President Akufo-Addo has been using a vehicle purchased in 2007 since his investiture and has not found the need to purchase a new one.
“That’s what he has been riding in [and] he is working to ensure that we management the resources of the country judiciously,” he added.
The deputy chief of staff said until there is a review, the moratorium remains a policy of the Akufo-Addo led government.