The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has disclosed that proceeds from Ghana’ s petroleum revenue which were used to re-brand 116 Metro Mass Transport Buses in 2015, have been refunded in full to the public coffers.
According to the Chairman of PIAC, Professor Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, an amount of GHC3.65 million, approximately 9 percent of transport sector allocation from the petroleum revenue, which was used for the re-branding of the buses has been refunded.
“What was used for the re-branding of the metro rapid transport buses have been refunded in full. The petroleum component has been refunded that is, the GHC3.65 million has been paid to the country according to our report,” he said.
The Ghc3.6 million bus re-branding contract for 116 buses awarded to Smarttys, caused a public outcry resulting in the resignation of the then Sector Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Attivor in December.
Issues regarding procurement challenges, a bloated contract sum paid to Smarttys among others, were raised by civil society groups and political parties leading to a further probe by the Attorney General’s Department, hence the subsequent refund.
Government’s decision to spend GHc3.6 million of Ghana’s oil revenue on branding some 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses in 2015, was widely criticized and described as reckless.
The scandal compelled the Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor to resign after a massive public outcry.
The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, subsequently ordered the Attorney General to investigate the matter after which Smarttys was ordered to refund the excess payments made.
A leaked Attorney General’s investigation report suggested that the contract with Smarttys was commenced and concluded long before the procurement process started; a conduct that violated the nation’s procurement laws.