Inter-City STC to 'expand into West Africa sub-region'
Managing Director of the Inter-City State Transport Company (ISTC), Nana Akomea, has said plans were advanced to extend his outfit’s operations to Nigeria and other African countries.
He said the bus company was already going to Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire and would be venturing into the Nigeria transport market.
Nana Akomea made this known to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport when they paid a working visit to the company’s Head Office in Accra.
The visit was to ascertain firsthand information on the company, their challenges and also familiarise themselves with their operations.
The Committee toured the company facilities and witnessed the commissioning of the ISTC Driving School by Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, which was refurbished with the state-of-the-art equipment with the latest driving technology.
The Transport Minister also inaugurated the ISTC new Car Rental Service terminal, which is equipped with modern Special Utility Vehicles and Saloons Cars for public patronage.
He said though, the company was in crisis, his leadership, management and committed staff have turned around the company by increasing productivity and paying some debts of the company.
The Managing Director revealed that there were plans to establish stations at Kasoa, Pokuase, Ashaiman; 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 to travel.
He said, apart from the Asafo terminal, in Kumasi, in Ashanti Region, the company was on course to establish sub-stations at Kejetia and Sofoline and also in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and West regions.
Nana Akomea said to meet the expected demands, the company was in the process of securing 100 Daewoo customised coaches from China at a cost of $17.5 million to increase its fleet of buses to 160.
He said from the company’s then four buses daily on the Accra-Kumasi route, the ISTC now did more than 20 trips to Kumasi, the 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 are on course to reposition the ISTC as the safest and preferred means of road transportation,” he said.
Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye, Member of Parliament for Ayensuano and Chairman of the Committee commended the management for turning around the fortunes of the company.
He welcomed the decision to expand their services to both the local and sub-regional markets as there were economic potentials on the targeted areas for expansion.
Mr Ayeh-Paye on the new fleet of coaches urged the engineers of the company to pay attention to the details of the specifications to ensure that the buses came with their parts and fit for the Ghanaian terrain.
He also urged the company management to ‘get closer to the committee’ and make their concerns known for speedy solutions for the Committee to be privy to the plans and programmes of the company so as to advocate on their behalf to the House.