Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Volta Lake Transport needs capital injection to survive

BY: Kwame Asare Boadu
Some of the ferries parked on the lake. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Some of the ferries parked on the lake. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) needs an injection of investment capital to save the strategic national asset from sinking, insiders have said.

According to them, the only justification to continue operating the insolvent company was the injection of short-term investor capital into its operations.

Checks by the Daily Graphic revealed that the water transport establishment was going through nagging challenges.

Currently, some of the company’s vessels are operating on weak engines while others are without insurance cover.

A subsidiary of the VRA, the VLTC, operates both passenger and cargo lake transport services for two major categories: north/south and cross-lake ferry operations.

The operations involve transporting petroleum products and cement from Akosombo in the Eastern Region to the Buipe Port in the Northern Region and the ferrying of passengers and agricultural inputs and products on the Akosombo-Yeji route.


Maintenance

The present situation of VLTC is blamed on the lack of maintenance of equipment.

The Daily Graphic gathered that between 2011 and 2013 when the venture experienced a brief financial stability with the injection of capital from the VRA, the company had seen a sharp decline in capital investment.

In November 2016, an advertisement was placed in the dailies for partners for improvement in the delivery of its transport services. Although bids were put in, the process could not be completed.

Staff concern

The Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of the company, Mr Moses Larbi, said: “we need massive investor capital injection.”

He said there was a possibility of the business emerging strongly, provided a right investor participated in its management.

Mr Larbi also indicated that aside from the aging equipment, the decision by the government to truncate the proposed construction of the Tema-Akosombo rail line at Mpakaban instead of the Akosombo Port was a disincentive to the operations of the company.

He was, however, happy that the Ministry of Railway Development had promised to take a re-look at the decision.

Reaction

The acting Managing Director (MD) of the company, Mr Kenneth Appiah-Oppong, confirmed that some of the vessels were facing operational challenges.

“We’re yet to renew the insurance cover for our two Tug Boats; MV Volta Queen (which is currently not in use until some parts on one of her engines are replaced) and MV Buipe Queen, which though operational, has weak engines,” he stated.