As expected, there have been mixed reactions on the media, as President Nana Addo bans new cars under his administration.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has placed an indefinite ban on the purchase of state vehicles for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). The ban he said, is to ensure that available resources are used in implementing the government’s agenda instead of purchasing vehicles.
The said ban was revealed in a letter written by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, dated March 21, 2017. Nana Addo’s ban which is said to hold until further notice, directs MDAs to make use of the existing fleet of vehicles in their respective transport pools.
The directive by the President, however had some exceptions that in extraordinary circumstances, MDAs that want to procure new vehicles “shall seek for and obtain the prior express written authorization”.
As expected, there have been mixed reactions in the media, as President Nana Addo bans new cars under his administration. But the government has attempted to get the public to understand the reason behind this drastic move.
Speaking on the issue on Joy FM, 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 projects.
President Akufo-Addo he said, has been using a vehicle purchased in 2007 since his investiture and has not found the need to purchase a new one. According to him, if the President has no need for new vehicles, how much more his subordinates who are in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
These austerity measures by the government he explained, was necessary for the fulfillment of the President’s promises made to Ghanaians, prior to his being elected into power. Abu Jinapor explained that since the country is living in extraordinary times, it was necessary to cut down expenses and look for ways to garner more assets for the nation.
The move has been commended by Franklin Cudjoe, the President of policy think-tank IMANI-Ghana, who described it as a good news. The ban he says goes to emphasize that the Akufo-Addo government truly wants to manage the nation’s resources.
Missing State Cars
The President’s ban on the purchase of new government cars comes on the back of some missing 208 state vehicles which was blamed on officials of the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Earlier in February, reports from the Flagstaff House indicated that officials of the NPP including President Nana Addo, were rendered immobile following the disappearance of over 200 cars at the Presidency. Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin who had given a report on the issue stated that up to 208 cars meant to be available for the house were missing.
However, in a rebuttal, the NDC released a statement saying it duly handed over all state vehicles to the new government. The issue has since led to a grand episode of counter attacks between the two parties -NPP and NDC.