The Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid has justified why the current ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has taken custody of 34 out of the 49 fleet of VIP vehicles purchased under the previous John Dramani Mahama led administration.
Addressing the media today [Tuesday], the Minister said the reduction in the number of vehicles to 34, consequently reduced the initial cost of 9 million dollars by about 3 million dollars. He further revealed at the briefing that, government also avoided incurring a judgement debt, by deciding not to cancel the contract.
He said: ‘’Government is bound by the terms of the contract signed with Amalgamated Securities Limited. Abrogating the contract may incur significant liabilities for government. In doing so, government has however made sure to obtain maximum gain for the public purse and also for ensuring the security of the state. The government of President Mahama ordered 43 VIP vehicles at a cost of 9.1 million United States Dollars.’’
According to him, the renegotiation and reduction in the number of vehicles helped in procuring 100 Toyota Corolla cars for the Police Service which he noted as ‘’in line with our commitment to retool the Police Service to enable them play effectively, their role of protecting the Ghanaian people.’’ Mr. Hamid added: ‘’ we have done all this with a total amount of 8.8 million United States Dollars.
This decision is consistent with our approach towards contracts that we came to meet, where if possible; we have renegotiated the terms to make them more favourable to the Ghanaian people. In the Ministry of Education for example, we renegotiated the cost of printing textbooks, which the former government had signed with printers. Instead of 134 million cedis, we renegotiated downwards to 89 million cedis.
It is in this same spirit that the Finance Minister asked the Auditor General to audit the financial liabilities that had been bequeathed to us, and which has revealed that some 5.4 billion cedis of legacy debts are dodgy. We remain committed to our goal of protecting the public purse, while ensuring value for money and securing the greater good of the Ghanaian people,’’ he concluded.