The Managing Director of Inter-City State Transport Company (ISTC), Nana Akomea, has said his outfit is far advanced with plans to extend operations into Nigeria and some other key West African countries.
He said the road transport company, which is already servicing the Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire routes, is poised to venture out even farther in the sub-region.
Nana Akomea made this known to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport when its members paid a working visit to the company’s head office in Accra.
The visit was to enable the Committee to ascertain first-hand information on the company and its challenges, and also familiarise themselves with its operations.
The Committee toured the company’s facilities and witnessed the commissioning of the ISTC Driving School by Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Transport, which has been refurbished with state-of-the-art equipment and the latest driving technology.
The Transport Minister also inaugurated the ISTC’s newly-constructed Car Rental Service Terminal, which is equipped with modern Special Utility Vehicles and Saloon Cars for public rentals
He said though the company was in crisis, his leadership, management and committed staff have turned around it by increasing productivity and paying off some legacy debts.
Nana Akomea revealed that there are plans to establish stations at Kasoa, Pokuase, Ashaiman and all suburbs of Accra, to expand the local market in order to reduce passengers’ burden of moving far from their locations to the main ISTC yard when travelling to various destinations.
He said apart from the Asafo terminal in Kumasi, the company is on course to establish sub-stations at Kejetia and Sofoline; and also in the Brong Ahafo, Nothern, and Upper East and West Regions.
Nana Akomea said the company is in the process of securing 100 Daewoo customised coaches from China, at a cost of US$17.5million, to increase its fleet of buses to 160.
He said from operating four buses daily on the Accra-Kumasi route, the ISTC now does more than 20 trips to Kumasi—its most profitable route in the country, since it moved its operations to Circle and Asafo, the most popular transport hubs in Accra and Kumasi respectively.
“My administration, with the support of the Board of Directors, is on course to reposition the ISTC as the safest and preferred means of road transportation,” Mr. Akomea said.
Mr. Samuel Ayeh-Paye, Member of Parliament for Ayensuano and Chairman of the Committee, commended the management of STC for turning around the company’s fortunes.
He welcomed the decision to expand services within Ghana and the sub-regional market.
Mr. Ayeh-Paye, on the new fleet of coaches, urged engineers of the company to pay attention to details of the specifications to ensure they come with their spare-parts and are fit for the Ghanaian terrain.
He also urged the company’s management to ‘get closer to the Committee’ and make their concerns known for speedy solutions.
Thus, he said, the Committee will be privy to the company’s plans and programmes so as to advocate on its behalf.