A pressure group, Concerned Ghanaians, has appealed to former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor to compel the government to remove their portraits embossed on the 116 state-owned buses.
The group said at a time when the country’s economy was confronted with challenges, it found it a wasteful expenditure to post pictures of former Presidents and that of the current President on the buses at a cost of GH¢31,000 per bus.
“We believe that you will consider it profligate, as we do, that the government spent a whopping GH¢3.6 million on this hubristic exercise,” the three-member group stated.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Akwasi Twumasi Ankra, Mr Ofei Dei Goodfellow and Mr Atick Yakubu and issued in Accra yesterday.
“It is with great dismay that we, as Concerned Ghanaians, have noticed the adorning of 116 buses government procured for the bus rapid transit (BRT) scheme with the portraits of the current and former Presidents, namely, John Evans Atta Mills, John Agyekum Kufuor, Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama,” it said.
It stated that knowing the good value of prudent financial management and good governance which Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor ascribed to, “we are left in no doubt in our minds that you do not approve of such an expenditure, as well as the idea of placing your images on these buses”.
“We are thus humbly appealing to your good conscience to direct that your images be taken off these buses.
“We, together with the growing number of online signatories to this petition, shall remain eternally grateful to you if you could grant us our petition,” the statement said.
The use of GH¢3.6 million of oil funds for the rebranding of Metro Mass Transit buses generated controversy in Parliament last Tuesday, with the Minority questioning the move by the government.
The rebranding of the buses, which involved the embossment of the pictures of the former heads of state and the painting of the buses in the national colours, according to the 2015 annual report on Petroleum Funds, cost GH¢31,000 each.
The Minority was of the view that the allocation was unacceptable and a waste of national resources.