General News Wed, 2 May 2018

Over 200 undervalued bus sale cost GHC1m loss in shady Metro Mass Transit deal

JoyNews investigations have uncovered that the state-owned Metro Mass Transit Limited lost over GHC1 million, as a result of under-valuation of more than 200 buses sold by the company.

The buses were declared “unserviceable” and as a company policy, they were supposed to be sold off as scrap.

JoyNews, however, found out the valuation process was compromised and this has cost the company more than one million cedis in revenue.

An auctioneer who claims to have facilitated the sale of 18 unserviceable buses, complains that he has been shortchanged.

He told JoyNews' Manasseh Azure Awuni that the buses were sold to people recommended by the Board Chair, Ahmed Arthur.

According to him, Mr Arthur promised him ¢100 on each bus in addition to his auction fees. But Mr Arthur has denied any involvement in the sale of the buses.

In December 2016 and February 2017, the Valuation Department of the State Transport Company (STC) valued 202 buses at ¢1,397,000.

In October 2017, the Chairman of the Scrapes Committee mandated to oversee the disposal of the buses wrote to the Managing Director of Metro Mass, raising questions of inaccuracies in the valuation report.

In that memo, he said, “for instance, the evaluation report would indicate that there is no engine in a particular. However, a physical examination of the said bus revealed otherwise.”

This means with that with the engines and other parts, the value of the buses ought to be higher than the ¢1,397,000.

The Committee made three suggestions to the Managing Director, Bennet Aboagye. It said;

i. "That the technical department is tasked to remove all parts which are not meant for scraping from the boarded buses to tally with what the valuation report contains,

ii. That all parts removed should be duly documented and received into stores,

iii. As a committee, in view of the huge financial implications involved, we do not recommend the option of revaluation."

However, six days after receiving the memo, Bennet Aboagye wrote to STC to revalue the buses.

When JoyNews contacted him for his reason for the re-evaluation, he said the buses had no engines although the valuation report said they had engines.

After a report from his Scrapes Committee was produced to falsify his claims, he insisted the revaluation is the best option in the circumstances.

Sources in Metro Mass Transport Limited say they expected the value of the buses to go up since it was confirmed that they had engines and other parts contrary to earlier valuation report.
Source: Myjoyonline.com
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