Details emerging from the scandalous GH¢3.6 million branding contract for 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses indicate that it (contract) was awarded to Selassie Ibrahim, an activist of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The detailed Pro-forma invoice of the controversial GH¢3.6 million branding contract is believed to have been submitted to Minister of Transport Dzifa Attivor by Smarttys Management and Productions, a company reportedly owned by the renowned actress, Selassie Ibrahim, wife of Ibrahim Adams.
The figure on the Pro-forma Invoice submitted by Smarttys Management and Productions represents the cost of the 116 branded MMT buses, which was presented to Members of Parliament (MPs) on the floor of Parliament recently.
Dated July 17, 2015, the invoice, believed to have been signed by the accounts officer of the company, according to media reports making the rounds yesterday, details how the grand total of the controversial amount was arrived at.
On the invoice sighted by DAILY GUIDE, the material cost for spraying each of the buses in red, yellow and green colours was pegged at GH¢14,210.00.
Labour cost for spraying each of the buses was fixed at GH¢3000, cost of save coating at GH¢1,210.00, with labour cost for putting stickers on each of the 116 buses being GH¢2,000.00, among others. The total cost incurred on each of the buses was GH¢30,420.00.
Until the media intercepted the invoice, the government did not make public the document for some unknown reasons.
Meanwhile, pressure is beginning to mount on the NDC government for an urgent audit to be conducted into what led to the use of poor taxpayers’ money to brand the buses at such an exorbitant cost.
A group championing the cause of accountable governance in Ghana and internationally, Critical Thinkers International, is leading the crusade for an audit into the actual cost of branding the buses as the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) strongly believes that the GH¢3.6 million quoted by government as being the cost of branding the buses was ‘bloated’ and unacceptable.
Critical Thinkers, in a statement released and jointly signed by its spokespersons, Kwadwo Akowuah Acheampong, Nana Kwadwo Akwaa, Kwabena Asemani Afari and Nana Kyei Baffour, called on the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to institute an investigation into what made the country incur such a colossal cost on just the branding of the vehicles at a time the national economy is struggling to survive as a result of mismanagement and wanton corruption within public circles.
The branding of the new Chinese Huanghai buses for the MMT with portraits of John Mahama and past presidents of Ghana is one of many questionable projects of the NDC administration.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, raised the issue on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday apparently accusing President Mahama of presiding over a corrupt regime.
Critical Thinkers International in its statement pointed out that it was unfortunate that such an amount could be expended on just the rebranding of 116 buses of MMT at a unit cost of GH¢31,457.28.
The group bemoaned, “It baffles our minds for any well-meaning Ghanaian of sound mind to make sense out of this. How can just rebranding of a bus cost us over GH¢31,000?
“We live in a lower middle income country which has been plunged into a neck-wrecking debt which is sinking our economy and our leaders find it sensible to rebrand buses at such nonsensical and astronomically quoted prices.”
But the Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, is reported to have stated that “branding 116 buses cost GH¢3.6m because artistic work is generally expensive,” subtly insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians.