Tap n’ Go is a clear example of state enchantment – Bright Simons calls out Bawumia

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Bright Simons, a Vice President of IMANI Africa, has called out Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, over the Tap and Go Transport Service (Tap n’ Go) system, which the latter recently launched.

According to Bright Simons, the vice president presented the ‘Tap n’ Go’ system as if it was an initiative of the government to improve the transportation system in the country but it is not so.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ NewsFilprogramme on Saturday, February 24, 2024, he said that the system is a private-sector-led initiative and is a clear example of a private-sector project being presented as a government initiative, even though the government would not be in charge of it.

“… Tap n’ Go is a very good example, unfortunately, of the fears that we have around the state enchantment phenomenon. And by state enchantment, we mean situations where private companies, private benefitsand , private gain is dressed up as if they are public. And then because of that fact, these private gains are procured with public costs or with public investments. And the justification is that they areareoing to lead to national transformation.

“Our problem is that it was not presented as… some private company putting a solution out there and then the government may be saying that we support all kinds of private initiatives. This has been presented as a national transformation project based on which important concessions have been made,” he said.

Simon stated that the ‘Tap n’ Go’ system was originally presented to the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and they were to implement it with the support of the government.

He added that the GPRTU has no hand in ‘Tap n’ Go’ launched Dr Bawumia, which was developed by three main private companiesthato would be making money from it.

“When Tap n’ Go was presented to the country, it was said to be a GPRTU initiative backed by the government… because GPRTU, even though it’s an association of private organizations, has a strategic understanding with the government in setting prizes for public transport, this was seen as a public transport initiative.

“So, the way that it was presented was that the public transport of Ghana, the one that most people benefit from, the trotros, the Metro Mass Transit, and these various incarnations – STC and the rest of it, are all going to be transformed using a platform that was primarily a public initiative. Then we discover eventually that the GPRTU has no stake in the project. They are not strategic partners in that sense,” he said.

He added, “They don’t own anything in the Transport for Ghana Consortium that has been set up to run this. And even worse, the industrial relations manager then comes out and says that they were not consulted in the design of the program.”

The IMANI vice president also pointed out that there are serious issues with the implementation of the project, including the fact that the private entities involved would have access to the data of Ghanaians.

He added that one of the companies involved has also been cited for serious procurement breaches in the Agenda 111 project.

 

 

 

ghanaweb.com

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