Bus Branding Scandal: Govt. Orders Smartty’s to Return GHC1.9m

The Chief of Staff, Mr. Julius Debrah has directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to recover from Messrs Smartty’s Management Limited, a total of GHc 1.9 million. He gave the directive after receiving the Attorney General’s report on the spraying and branding of 116 new buses procured for the Metro Mass Transport Company Limited at a cost of Ghc3.6 million.

Speaking to Citi News, National Treasurer of the PNC, Akane Adams, commended the President and the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah on this move. According to him,

If a decision is taken by the President or the Chief of Staff to ensure that an amount of GHc1.9million is retrieved, I think the President or the Chief of Staff certainly should be commended for that.”

Mr. Akame Adams further underscored the importance of accountability to development and urged citizens to demand transparency government.

As a country and as a people, public accountability is something we all must come together to ensure that our leadership embraces so that together as a country, we can move forward. In the coming days, government will make available the full report to general public so we get to know the details of the report and as to whether the minister indeed was implicated or any official was implicated,” Mr Adams further stated.

The Chief of Staff last week directed the Attorney General to conduct an urgent review of the contract, following concerns raised about the cost of spraying and branding exercise. In her report submitted on Tuesday, Mrs Marieta Brew Appiah-Oppong found that there were no cost comparisons to what was submitted by Smartty’s Management because of the method of procurement and the procedures used. The report revealed that the procurement method did not also ensure value for money.

A statement from the Flagstaff House noted that “Independent consultations made by the Attorney General with some leading motor firms in the country confirmed that the contract would have been executed at a cheaper cost if other bids were considered and price comparisons made.”

Meanwhile, the Transport Minister , Dzifa Attivor resigned on Wednesday over the scandal.