A retired Ghanaian diplomat, KB Asante, says government officials buying state vehicles they previously used is a “bush way of doing things.”
According to him, the vehicles must be properly auctioned to allow interested Ghanaians buy them.
Speaking to Citi News, he questioned the logic behind such direct sales to officials, arguing that the practice will always lead to wanton abuse of state property. His comment comes on the back of the recent saga of alleged missing state vehicles from the government pool.
Mr. Asante said, “we should change it [the current practice]. If we continue with this, it is a bush way of doing things. It is not correct. When a minister comes, he is given all the resources he needs to do his work, when he is going he leaves the car because the car is never his property.”
“If a government property is being sold where there is proper auction, auctioneers will value them well before they are auctioned. You don’t say sell this to one individual. Because the public contributed to buy the car so if for some reason it is to be sold, it will be sold openly to the public and not necessarily to the minister.”
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government earlier this week revealed that it could not locate some 208 state vehicles it was to inherit from the erstwhile NDC government.
The development raised suspicion that some officials of the previous governments were illegally keeping the vehicles or had bought them at extremely low prices.
But the previous government has insisted that it duly accounted for all the cars in the state pool, and therefore cannot be held responsible if any of them cannot be found.
The statement signed by the immediate past Deputy Chief of Staff, Johnny Osei Kofi, described the new government’s claims as “false, baseless and without merit.”
It said, the “distortions and bad faith that have characterized the conduct of the NPP side of the Transition team.”
It further explained that “both the Assets and Logistics Committee on the NPP side were given a detailed list of all vehicles in the pool at the Presidency.
More importantly, a total of 641 vehicles were listed and properly accounted for. This was duly captured in the handing over notes.” It also called on the government to provide further evidence to back its claims of lost vehicles.