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Branding of the new Chinese Huanghai buses for the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company with pictures of President John Mahama and past presidents of Ghana, cost the nation GH¢3.6 million.

The minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who raised the issue on the floor of parliament yesterday, told the speaker that the cost is too high and that parliament ought to interrogate it.

Parliament was yesterday discussing the budget estimate for the ministry of transport after which it approved an amount of GH¢126.3 million for the ministry for the 2016 financial year.

The minority leader said that each of the 116 buses was branded at the cost of GH¢31,000 – making the total cost GH¢3.6 million.

“Mr Speaker, how can we just emboss pictures of presidents on a bus at such a cost and so I want the minister to explain to us how the cost was arrived at,” Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu underscored.

The ranking member of Roads and Transport Committee and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member for Ejisu, Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi, was very much concerned about the seeming neglect of the rail subsector of the ministry, even though the government had consistently promised to develop the sector with the construction of new eastern and western lines.

According to the ranking member, the government earmarked just GH¢9 million to develop the rail sector in the 2016 budget.

He said the money approved for the ministry could not even defray the arrears of salaries of workers from May to December, 2015 which stand at GH¢8.2 million, while the Ghana Railway Company is also indebted to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to the tune of GH¢9.8 million.

“This government is just paying lip service to the rail sector which is a cheaper alternative to road transport and the rail sector is completely collapsing under this government,” he noted.

Source: Daily Guide

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