Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, September 29, 2017
Managing Director of Metro Mass Transit (MMT), Bennett Aboagye, has parried criticisms of workers of the state-owned transport company, insisting that he has not abused his office.
The workers staged a demonstration on Wednesday claiming that Mr Aboagye, appointed four months ago, is not helping to improve their conditions of service nor revamping the ailing transport entity.
However, the MD, who is currently in far away China where he is assisting in the negotiation of more buses for the company, told DAILY GUIDE via telephone that the agitation of the workers is unfortunate.
The China visit was organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport with deputy Minister, Nii Kwatei Titus-Gloverm, leading the delegation.
“I am not saying they can’t raise issues but I think they are not being fair to me and my consultant. I have just been appointed and I have started putting sound policies in place to make Metro Mass a better place in line with the president’s vision and so for them to turn around and make me look bad in the eyes of the public is unfortunate,” he bemoaned.
Mr Bennett Aboagye said he suspects that the practical measures he is leading his management to put in place appear to be ruffling feathers in the company. He added that he would not relent in his quest to get the best for the country, whilst making sure that the staff work in a conducive environment with improved conditions of service.
“So far, we have been able to control cost by limiting spending to operationally driven activities, reducing depot monthly imprest from GH¢640,000 to GH¢384,000,” he pointed out, adding, “Creditors’ money has been decreased from GH¢27 million in June to GH¢26 million as at 19th September, unlike the first half of the year when creditors’ amount increased by more than GH¢14 million which is an average of GH¢2.3 million a month.”
Mr Aboagye said that since he assumed office, the request to purchase and allocate spare parts is made on bus-specific basis, claiming that that had helped in reducing the stocking of idle parts of the buses.
He asserted, “In the case of tyres for instance, there was the need to track every bus that receives a new trye so that if a request is made again in less than three to four months for that same bus, answers will be provided as to why new tyres are needed since tyres are expected to run for at least six months.”
According to the MD, monthly net loss of GH¢2.36 million in June for the main service decreased to GH¢1.66 million in July and GH¢766,584 in August.
According to him, salaries for the past two months had been paid within the same month and the current weekly plan has been to make payment to suppliers in week one, pay statutory deductions in week two, making accumulation for net salaries in week three and paying salaries in week four.
He said it could not be true that workers’ salaries are being delayed because in the past two months the management had paid them on time.
“Buses are given fuel quota for specific distance thereby reducing the excess use of fuel for unauthorized purposes. There are information that some sleeper drivers run private business with the buses with some churches and schools before they operate the normal service, and we are working hard to stop this practice,” he revealed.
Mr Bennett Aboagye also said management of MMT was establishing depot desks to ascertain daily bus activities and raise queries on areas with abnormal results. “Management met depot managers one by one to review routes data and set route and bus targets,” he posited.
He maintained that there is continuation of parcel and luggage service to cover the rest of the depots, and that there had been a marginal fare adjustment on routes with high fare gap, saying for instance that the Accra-Kumasi fare had increased from GH¢18 to GH¢20.
Mr. Aboagye claimed that his outfit had been able to create reserve for “critical moments under the name infrastructure account with our existing bankers for monthly inflow of approximately GH¢100,000.”
He indicated, “Part of the fund has been used to honour a payment to VDL on an invoice which could not be deferred, and it is also being used to complete the extension of a head office building due to its critical need.”
According to the MD, there is no official vehicle allocated to him yet and has been using his personal car and staying in his personal residence. “In spite of all these, I have not given the managing board any pressure to purchase a vehicle for me. I have given them ample time to sort themselves out,” he pointed out.