A reconstituted eight-member board for the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) has been inaugurated with the task to come out with innovative measures and best practices to renew the fleet of the company to provide the needed services to the public.
The Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who inaugurated the board in Accra last Thursday, further charged the board to refrain from interfering with the day-to-day running of the company but rather channel their energies in finding practical ways of ensuring an efficient transport service for the company.
The board has Mr Ahmed Arthur, the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi South, as Chairman with Mr Bernadette Addo Dankwa, Dr Joseph Okine Afrane representing the Prudential Bank Limited; Mr Richard Kwaku Afaglo, SIC Insurance Limited and Mr Erasmus Ofori Sarkwa as members.
Others are Mr Robert Karikari Darko, representing the Agricultural Development Bank, Mrs Irene Odokai Messiba, Ministry of Transport and Mr Bennet Aboagye, the Managing Director of the MMT.
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is yet to appoint a representative to the board.
Administering the oath of secrecy and official oath to the board members, the minister drew the attention of the new board to the various challenges facing the company, including the dwindling and ageing buses, procurement lapses, revenue leakage, stealing and improper stock management.
Brouhaha in retrospect
In 2015, staff of the MMT embarked on a nationwide strike to demand action on the report of 12 alleged missing buses from the company but the intervention of the then Minister, Mrs Dzifa Ativor, restored calm.
The strike, which started with a peaceful demonstration, brought work to a standstill as vehicles were not allowed in and out of the company’s premises.
It is in view of those challenges that Mr Asiamah charged the reconstituted board to draw lessons from best practices and challenges of the past to ensure industrial harmony.
“I wish to call on management and staff to concentrate their efforts on their work rather than politics which tends to divide the workforce and thus adversely affect productivity of the company,” the minister advised.
The company was incorporated in March 2003 after former President J.A. Kufuor in his inaugural address directed the re-introduction of public mass transport in the metropolitan and municipal areas to ensure the safe, affordable, efficient and reliable transport of commuters.
Shareholders of the company include the State Insurance Company (SIC Insurance Company), the National Investment Bank, the Ghana Oil Company Limited, the Agriculture Development Bank, the Prudential Bank Limited and SSNIT, which together hold 55 per cent shares.
The government holds the remaining 45 per cent of the shares.
Mr Asiamah said discussions were ongoing for the acquisition of buses to augment the current fleet for intercity and urban-rural operations.
For the intercity operations, the minister disclosed that the government had applied for a Korea Exim Bank facility to introduce Compressed Natural Gas buses and facilities to reduce carbon emission within the cities.
While asking the board to engage in a private-public partnership to develop new bus terminals into commercial activities to complement the revenue the MMT generated, he further entreated them to ensure the automation of the company’s operations to reduce human interference.
Mr Asiamah told the board that the government was concerned about the spate of road crashes in the country, which involved some of the company’s buses.