President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the government had decided to take over Neoplan Ghan Ltd in its flagship 1-District-1-Factory initiative to revitalize the company, which had been going on downward trend for some time.
This was after a request was made by Bantama MP Francis Assenso Boacchie, and Neoplan Ghana’s Managing Director, Mr. Georges Nasar to the President for government intervention to save the company from impending collapse.
Neoplan (Ghana) Ltd was founded in 1974 under the Acheampong regime as a joint venture between the government of Ghana and Gottlob Auwarter GmbH for the production of buses for local Ghanaian public transport. In fact, the company became the first bus manufacturer in West Africa.
It should be borne in mind that when the NPP government took office in 2001, Neoplan Ghana was awarded a contract to build 450 buses for the public subway fleet. This contract has a term of 8 years and expired in July 2010.
Since then, the company has been unable to win such government contracts, and because the company has been unable to win contracts from the private sector, its operations have been limited to bus repair and maintenance services, resulting in recurring losses.
Speaking to reporters during President Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to the Ashanti Region where they visited the facility, Alan Kyerematen noted that the government has so far completed the process of providing the necessary support to the company.
“We revived Neoplan under President John Agekum Kufuor. Had President Mahama done something at Neoplan, the company wouldn’t have needed to be revived. I’m committed to getting Neoplan working again. We’ll do our best to get Neoplan working again… All we need is a little time to get the company up and running again. ”
“The president heard clearly. What you want is for President Kufuor to do what President Akufo-Addo did… If Ghana has the money to import buses, which in turn create jobs for foreigners, why don’t we use the same money to import them to recapitalize Neoplan? Good times are ahead for Neoplan. Neoplan will be resurrected,” the minister added.
The facility’s executive director, Abi Saab Malik, urged the government to ensure that the deal goes into effect as soon as possible.
“Over the past six months we have spoken with the Ministry of Trade and Industry about common reasons for mutual understanding. We look forward to concluding our proposal soon to ensure the success of this company. ”