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General News
Cars importation inimical to private sector - NPP MP 3/6/2007
The use of $5.9 million by the Ghana@50 Secretariat for the importation of about 199 cars for activities marking Ghana’s Golden Jubilee has been roundly condemned by people across the political divide.

The latest to add his voice is the former Deputy Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs and NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Abuakwa North, Hon. Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu.

According to him, the action by the Ghana@50 Secretariat is an obstacle to the growth of the private sector and counter productive to government’s avowed policy of making the private sector the engine of growth.

He said what government should have done was to direct the Car Rental Association to a bank for a soft loan to import cars and rent them out to the Ghana@50 Secretariat and for that matter government. He said further that by so doing government would have greatly helped the private sector to expand. Hon. Danquah Adu was equally unhappy with government’s decision to print some of the Golden Jubilee cloth from China, since it would have similar adverse effects on private enterprise.

He was speaking on a morning show of a Tema-based radio station last Friday. Almost six million dollars is being spent on 50 BMWs, 50 Mercedes Benz, 50 Chryslers, 50 Peugeot saloon cars, 30 Jaguars and 25 buses to convey visitors to and from various destinations during the 50th anniversary.

But the President of the Car Rentals Association, David Nana Anim, says, the Association could have met government’s need for the range of luxury vehicles for the visiting dignitaries for a fraction of what it cost to buy. The Association says it would have charged less than $250,000 for 200 cars for a week.

The Editor of the Daily Statesman, Gabby Otchere Darko also questioned the propriety or otherwise of the importation of some the vehicles, which Ghanaians have been made to believe are meant for the African Union and UNCTAD Conferences.

He contended that the State Protocol in their normal scheme of things have always imported cars for such functions and wondered why this time around such an assignment has been given to the Ghana@50 Secretariat.

Meanwhile, Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang and Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, and MP for Asokwa respectively, disagreed with the views of Hon. Danquah Adu, arguing that the importation of the cars would be more economical, considering the multi-purpose function they will perform.

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