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Mahama’s bad actions in gov’t is the reason why those 240 Aayalolo Buses are not working – Manasseh writes

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240 Aayalolo Buses are not working

Manasseh Azure Awuni writes: 

Two hundred and forty-five buses have been imported by the government in 2016 to implement the urban transport system to improve public transportation in the country.

A JoyNews investigation has revealed that the buses and the infrastructure to run them have cost the nation GH¢742 million, but the programme has stalled.

aayaloloo buses

In a JoyNews investigative series titled “Grounded Wheels,” Manasseh Azure Awuni reveals the government deviated from the implementation plan of the project, which was designed with support from the World Bank.

In 2016, President John Mahama commissioned the urban transport system, a compromised form of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The legal entity created to manage what became known as the Aayalolo bus system is the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE).

aayaloloo buses

Twenty buses were deployed when the Aayalolo bus system started in December 2016 but grew to 68 by September 2018. The Tudu-Amasaman route, which had designated stops and some metres of dedicated lanes close to bus stops, was used for the execution of the project, which started in 2007. However, after less than two years of operation, the transport system ran into challenges and grounded.

The government imported a total of 245 buses for the Aayalolo project. Some of these buses have not moved since they came into the country in 2016. The 68 which were used for the pilot project have also been grounded.

Each of the Marco Polo Low Entry City buses cost Ghana $251,600 making total cost of the buses $61,642,000. Together with the cost of developing the infrastructure, the project has cost the Ghana $151 million or more than GH¢742 million cedis. Out of this, only $7million is a grant from the Global Environmental Fund. The rest are loans.

The World Bank financed the infrastructure component of the project from 2008 to 2015. JoyNews wrote to the Bank for comments. The World Bank responded that it rated the implementation of the project as “unsatisfactory.” In an email to JoyNews, the World Bank said:

“In a post completion assessment of the project, the Bank rated the implementation performance unsatisfactory. The procurement of buses by the government represented a deviation from the original plan of establishing a limited competitive regime for public transport operations along major routes. The project envisaged that the private sector operators would be responsible for providing the specified quality of buses for operations along designated routes, based on a route license issued by the regulator. Government intervention of purchasing buses meant that the element of private sector initiative and investment in passenger transport in the bid to improve mobility is lost.”

The World Bank added that “the business case that emerged assessed 80 buses as the initial requirement.” However, government bought 245, more than three times the number.

aayaloloo buses

The Aayalolo in its operation of the 68 buses has accumulated a debt of GH ¢ 11.9 million. Now it needs an amount of GH ¢ 20 million cedis to restart the operation.

There is still a hurdle to scale even if operators of the Aayalolo bus system get the money. Our investigation revealed that interference from politicians and government officials is the reason Aayalolo could not deal with trotro drivers who park and load at the dedicated Aayalolo lanes and bus stops. For this reason, the patronage of the Aayalolo buses dropped from a peak of 11,000 passengers a day in September 2017 to below 5000 passengers a day in September 2018. Besides the deviation from the implementation plan and the cost, a solution will have to be found for the political interference if the service can continue to run efficiently.

Until then, the buses will continue to waste away and the Ghana will continue to pay the loans with interest.

 


BY: Manasseh Azure Awuni

Disclaimer: The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Accra Mail.

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Adentan-Madina Police Arrests: Look Like Rwanda But Don’t Adopt Its Style Of Leadership

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Look Like Rwanda But Don’t Adopt Its Style Of Leadership

Adentan-Madina Police Arrests: Look Like Rwanda But Don’t Adopt Its Style Of Leadership

Look Like Rwanda But Don’t Adopt Its Style Of Leadership: There was a groundswell of people who hit Adentan and Madina’s streets when the absence of footbridges led to the deaths of some Ghanaians.
The road though had some footbridges, their conditions did not allow them to be used because they were yet to be finished.
Tires were burnt, the government was lampooned, the administration was said to have been derelict in its duty in safeguarding the lives of the citizenry.
Some civil society organizations jumped on the bandwagon and chanted their usual Rwandan mantra being a paragon of virtue in terms of keeping its people safe and expanding infrastructure.
The government had to find the money to undertake the project. The footbridges were built and the people who were dying crossing the roads have refused to use the footbridges. They are still crossing the roads with their attendant dangers.
The demonstrators have been silent. Those who took to street protests have not said anything. They are probably too busy doing their own things than urging the people to use the footbridges.
These lovers of Rwanda have been asleep while the police and other agencies have been urging pedestrians to use the footbridges. Even in COVID-19, the footbridges have been abandoned by the pedestrians.
This Easter season, the police have been high-handed in dealing with those who flout the laws at Adentan and Madina regarding the usage of the footbridges. Some are being made to clean the streets and all manner of things.
Ghanaians, let me say some Ghanaians say the police are breaking the law for subjecting those flouting the laws to some punishments.
They say the police have no right to do what it has done to keep sanity on the roads.
The police, they say, can only arrest these people and arraign them before the court. Where do we go from here? The streets are really sane now.
The method may have been unconventional, but the footbridges are being used.
It is a straight fight between saving lives using ‘unlawful’ means and jeopardizing lives using the law. I ask again, where do we go from here? How do we deal with this matter?
Ghana should be as clean as Rwanda, but it must not adopt Rwanda’s methods to achieve its success!
P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.
COLUMNIST: P.K. Sarpong

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Beware of the HOPE CITY that never saw the light under MAHAMA

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Rowland Agambire of RLG fame breezed onto our political scene like a tornado blowing from the angry seas of the West. His meteoric rise to stardom captivated a section of the Ghanaian populace whereas many were not enthralled by the façade that they saw.

His seeming sense of in-depth knowledge in the world of a business carried himself as a heavyweight whose raw skills were needed to be tapped for the betterment of the land, were all sold to the Ghanaians.

The Hope City idea was promulgated. Mahama bought into it. US$10 billion was being invested in that dreamy project. The taxpayers would eventually pay for this eccentrically outlandish edifice.

The Hope City was to employ thousands of Ghanaians if not millions in enterprises whose realities could well be seen in wonderland, in a world filled with sainted dreams and apparitions.

Hope City was a classical case of phantasmagoric imagery and scenes which vanished into thin air when the dream left our eyes. Hope City was but a mere wishful thinking.

Mahama knocks at the door like the very Hope City he and Agambire brought to deceive Ghanaians. He promises to pedal Ghana to some paradise where economic freedom and accelerated growth and development can be located.

Simply put, John Mahama is promising heaven on earth as though he were a stranger to the very position he greedily seeks to occupy. With the benefit of hindsight, we can readily recall the economic torture Mahama sent us through.

To curtail a long narrative, Mahama was a true definition of hell to the good people of Ghana. Airbus should be a guide, our navigation as he walks through the stage with his sumptuous and unrealistic promises.

John Dramani Mahama is akin to the Hope City that brought only hopelessness.

 


–: P.K. Sarpong

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Let’s Make The Northern Part Of Ghana Our Vietnam And Thailand

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There is a groundswell of people advocating the consumption of locally produced rice.

I must admit that this couldn’t have come at a better time. A large chunk of rice is produced in the northern part of the country and other areas.

As nutritious as these brands are, Ghanaians appear to have developed tastes for foreign ones. The reasons are not farfetched.

However, the country spends millions if not billions of dollars to import rice from Vietnam and Thailand, and this has telling effects on the strength of our currency, the cedi.

The importation of these foreign brands also renders our rice farmers jobless since their product is not patronized by Ghanaians, and this is detrimental to the growth and development of the country.

We can all help in our own small ways to help in the consumption of locally processed and produced rice by jettisoning those which are imported.

Christmas is lurking around the corner and we can make conscious efforts to abandon the perfumed rice of the lands beyond the Gulf of Guinea and embrace our own brands.

Instead of traveling thousands of kilometers beyond the African Continent in search of rice grown by the people of Vietnam and Thailand, we can just walk to the northern part of the country at no great cost to us.

We grow our economy by giving employment to thousands of the youth, we keep our currency in check if we don’t import rice, Ghana will be better if we sever ties with Thailand and Vietnam as far as their rice is concerned.

 


BY: P.K. SarpongWhispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place

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