There is deep seated anger and murmuring in Parliament, over a decision by the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye-led administration to give away some relatively new staff buses to some Members of Parliament (MP) under the guise of auction.
The buses have since been grounded and about to be released to the buyers, while hundreds of parliamentary staff without official vehicles and fuel like the 275 MPs, suffer for transport to and from Parliament daily to work to ensure the legislative arm of government runs smoothly.
By the Speaker of Parliament and his colleagues ahead of the auction, scrapped the staff buses and offered various monetary compensations to the workers based on ones level, but these monetary packages according to the staff, are woefully inadequate in the face of harsh economic conditions prevailing in the country, beside the use of the staff buses gave them security, comfort and convenience.
One of the excuses given for the scrapping of the transport arrangement, which The Herald, is informed had have been in use since 1993, is that there is no money to buy fuel.
They are designated to ply different routes in and outside the national capital to among other things, help increase productivity, check lateness to work, check absenteeism and other things, but the decision to by Speaker Mike Oquaye and his team on the Parliamentary Service Board, has revised that.
According to The Herald’s sources, the buses numbering nine (9), with registration numbers; GT 2985-10, GT 2986-10, GT 7509-12 and GT 7510-12, GT 1996-14, were to transport staff that reside at Dansoman, Kwashieman, Ashaiman, Kasoa, Adenta to and from Parliament.
The rest are, GS 9389-Y, GS 6382-Y, ER 3435-11, ER 3436-11.
But currently, as a result of the absence of the busses, there is general lateness to work, absenteeism and low productivity among workers of Parliament. The initiative was to help curb the usual hustle Ghanaian workers go through daily before reaching and leaving their work places.
Per this, workers from Level 3, are entailed to be paid GHc180, while level 4 get GHc180. Then there are levels 6-7, who are to be paid 250 and 324 respectively.
Interestingly, the MPs, who purchased the buses are yet to drive them away. They have been left at the vagaries of the weather rusting away, while the staff hit the scorching sun and tedious early mornings and late evenings daily traffic jams to work and back home.
Again, as a result of this backtracking, drivers who were employed to drive these buses have been left idle, while they continue to draw monthly salary from the state coffers.
The worker The Herald spoke to described the bus system as very convenient. They said they were picked on time to work and waited for the buses before checking out from office, adding many cannot leave the office, unless the buses moved.
But currently, there is absenteeism and apathy and low productivity, because of the absence of the buses.