Freddy Blay's buses for NPP arrive at Tema port
The first batch of 100 out of a total of 275, said to have been purchased by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for commercial purposes, under the leadership of the acting National Chairman, Mr Freddie Blay, have arrived in the country
Freddie Blay promised to provide buses for the constituencies of the party as part of his campaign to win the chairmanship slot of the party.
The promise of the delivery of 275 buses, according to the acting chairman, was to facilitate the work of the various constituencies across the country.
The move is to financially equip the party at the level to ensure that strong and effective structures are put in place to guarantee victory for the party in the 2020 polls.
Mr Blay is contesting for the national chairmanship of the NPP alongside two others, Mr Stephen Ayesu Ntim and Dr Richard Amoako Baah.
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The 100 buses were going through clearing processes at the Tema port as of Wednesday afternoon.
The party has arranged with Intercity STC for the public transport company to use the buses and pay the party.
STC already has similar arrangements with private individuals who finance the purchase of some buses for the company to use and pay them.
The proceeds from what the NPP is embarking on is expected to be paid into the accounts of the party at all 275 constituencies.
One of the buses about to be removed from a container at the Tema port.
The annual delegates’ conference
The annual delegates conference of the NPP is slated to take place at the Koforidua Technical University from Friday, 6, to Sunday, 8, 2018.
The vehicles have arrived barely two days to the elections and expected to bolster the chances of Mr Blay in winning the chairmanship race.
Even though Mr Blay was not physically present at the Tema port on Wednesday, members of his campaign team led by his spokesperson, Mr Richard Nyama, were present to take delivery of the vehicles.
Mr Richard Nyama, the spokesperson of Mr Blay, said contrary to , the vehicles were not personally funded by Mr Blay.
Rather, he said, it was Mr Blay, playing the leading role and a few other associates, who went for a loan facility of USD$11 million to procure the buses.
Mr Freddie Blay is said to have paid $3million, representing the 30 per cent upfront payment required for the buses from his own resources.
The decision to purchase commercial buses for the political party to use as a cash cow for the running of its constituencies is one of the main campaign messages of Mr Blay who is asking party delegates to vote for him as their substantive chairman at Saturday's congress in Koforidua.
His main contender, Mr Stephen Ntim has described the move as an attempt to "buy votes" from delegates considering the timing for the delivery of the buses. (Watch the video above]
But Mr Blay has insisted the plan for the buses is not a new thing.
In all the 275 buses is costing the NPP $11,412,500.
Blay, according to his aides is the sole “Guarantor” on behalf of all 275 constituency chairpersons of the NPP, who are Trustees of the transport facility.
Speaking to some journalists at the Tema Port after taking delivery of the buses, spokesperson for Mr. Blay, Richard Nyamah, said the decision by the campaign team of the acting national chairman to acquire the buses was motivated by his quest to ensure that constituency offices generate revenue on their own and not to rely on government and or the party leadership for their sustainability.
He reiterated that the buses would be managed by STC, a decision which is to ensure that the buses are managed professionally and to guarantee maximum profitability.
The loan facility contracted to acquire the buses according to the spokesperson is expected to be paid back in full within the next two years.
The make of the vehicle is Toyota Hiace 2.5L Diesel High Roof with ABS, manual transmission buses and a unit price is going for $41,500.