The Greater Accra regional Chapter of the Ghana Road Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has received 10 Eischer Volvo buses from Svani Group Ghana Limited after entering into a contractual agreement to pay for the vehicles over a period of time.
The buses are expected to be distributed among members of the GPRTU in the region for transport services.
Speaking to the B&FT after presenting the buses to the National Executives of the GPRTU, the Chairman of Svani Group Ghana Limited, Thomas Svanikier said the company financed part of the deal while the other part was supported by a loan facility from Fidelity Bank.
“We know these unions need the buses to transport the people of Ghana safely and so we stepped in with a flexible deal to help them acquire the buses to help ordinary Ghanaians. So, I prefinanced the buses to get them here,” he said.
He stated that the 10 buses cost about US$850,000 and were built specifically to withstand the road and environmental conditions in Ghana. “I have introduced Eischer Volvo cars to schools, churches and government agencies in the country over the last 15 years and I must tell you they are durable and made to survive here,” he stressed.
Mr. Svanikier disclosed that Fidelity Bank helped by designing a five-year flexible financial structure for the GPRTU to allow a monthly payment for the facility. He observed that the financial records of the Greater Accra region GPRTU was in good shape, hence the desire to pre-finance the deal.
To keep the buses on the road and ensure a maintenance culture, Mr. Svanikier said the package comes with a mobile maintenance unit and a workshop in Accra. “In addition, we have trained the drivers and the members of the GPRTU on how to maintain and handle these buses to keep them in shape.”
He stated that Svani has also made available two years of spare parts to keep the buses refixed anytime they breakdown to keep the buses on the road.
On his part, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Julian Opuni stated that the model was accepted by the bank to enhance safety on the roads. He maintained that the new buses fitted with airconditioned will provide some comfort to travellers and commuters in Accra at an affordable rate. “This is a good model that we are trying for the first time and we believe it will work and give some safety to Ghanaians on the road.”
He was of the view that the model could be replicated across the country if all parties fulfil their obligations to help improve transport services.
The General Secretary of the GPRTU, Godfred Abulbire assured that adequate measures have been put in place to generate enough money from the venture to pay back the loan. “We are only going to give these cars to drivers in stations who have good financial records and have the ability to pay for the loans.”.