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General News
NDC To Give 500 Cars To Taxi Drivers In 2012 Via MASLOC 12/11/2011
Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) would in January 2012, under its Vehicle Hire Purchase Scheme, distribute 500 Hyundai i10 saloon cars to productive unemployed professional drivers who want to own their taxis.

The scheme is targeted at empowering individual drivers, especially the youth, who belong to Taxi and Drivers’ Unions to own their vehicles after paying the loan facility within a four-year period.

Government, in November voted GH¢35 million for MASLOC in the 2012 budget to enable the Centre to continue to support the value chain processes through the provision of loans.

Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning announced this when he presented the government’s 2012 Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament in Accra.

But General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, says it a simply a ploy by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to use MASLOC to win votes in 2012.

Sir John, as the NPP General Secretary is affectionately called vows that it will be an exercise in futility.

Speaking in an interview with Citi News, Sir John said Ghanaians have already decided who to vote for in the 2012 elections and 500 or more cars would not be enough to change their minds and bring votes to the NDC.

According to Sir John, “If the intent of the NDC is to ensure that by buying these 600 vehicles they are likely to get the votes, they would lose the elections...It would not and it may not necessarily translate into votes for them come 2012. The people are already decided, they are angry at the NDC and come 2012, the NDC would lose the elections," he said.

But Mustapha Abubakar, a spokesperson for MASLOC, says the initiative is purely a poverty reduction venture.

“This is purely poverty reduction and this is not the first time we are doing this. In 2008 we did it, 2009 we did it, 2010 we did it in the first quarter and we are continuing to do it,” Abubakar stated.

It is the hope of MASLOC that the roll out of the scheme would gradually help in facing out old and rickety vehicles and to reduce road crashes caused by such vehicles. Miss Ansah-Djan said the scheme would encourage many beneficiary drivers to drive carefully and to use authorized routes since as car owners they would be under no pressure to make their daily sales. Also, the repayment of the facility will be flexible such that the drivers could decide either to give daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly an amount of not less than GH¢25 a day.

MASLOC was established to provide, manage and regulate, approved funds for microfinance and small scale credit schemes and programmes.

The Centre targets mainly the productive poor and vulnerable in society, including women, physically challenged and youth, who are engage in micro and small scale businesses to provide quick and easily accessible micro-credit facilities to reduce poverty and create employment and wealth.

MASLOC provides micro-credit or group loans, small loans, wholesale lending to microfinance institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and rural banks for on-lending to the productive poor.
Economic activities funded by the Centre include food crops, agro-processing, poultry, micro-enterprise, vocations, handicrafts, fish farming and agricultural machinery.

Source: Peacefmonline.com with additional files from GNA

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