Minority wades into Neoplan’s imminent collapse saga

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The Minority in Parliament has waded into the issue of intended closure of the Neoplan (Ghana) Limited, slated for 31 January 2020.

According to the Minority, a shutdown of the company will not be in the best interest of the country.

Governs Kwame Agbodza, a ranking member of the roads and transport committee in parliament, said the government as a majority shareholder has a role to play in ensuring that the company is kept afloat.

He indicated that the parliamentary committee on roads and transport is ready to look into the company’s challenges to avert any imminent closure, should the company present a petition.

“It will be tragic to let Neoplan die or fold up. In the first place, the state owns 55 per cent and it was a strategic asset as at the time the Joint Venture was established. The roads and transport committee will like to look into this.

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“Unfortunately, we don’t have a petition from the company yet, but I think it is not too late. They can petition us; we can look into it and together chart a way forward. That company cannot be allowed to fold up. The right thing for the government to do is as quickly as possible put the board together,” Mr Agbodza said in an interview with the media.

Distress company

The minority MP’s call follows an announcement that the company will shut down on Friday, January 31 2020 because it is no longer viable.

The company, in a memo to all staff in Accra and Kumasi, cited the lack of contracts and recurring monthly losses as reasons for the intended shutdown.

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The memo, dated January 15 2020, and signed by the managing director of the company, Georges Nassar, under the titled “Closure of Neoplan (Ghana) Limited”, said: “Management regretfully informs you that Neoplan (Ghana) Limited will be closing down its branches on 31st January 2020….This is due to lack of contracts and recurring monthly losses incurred. As a result, all employment contracts with the company will be terminated as of the said date until further notice.”

Group’s appeal

The minority is the latest to add their voice, following an appeal made by a pro-government pressure group, Concerned Voters Movement (CVM).

 

In a statement signed by its president, Razak, Kojo Opoku, the group said: “We are urging President Akufo-Addo to intervene and save the collapsing of Neoplan (Ghana) Limited since his appointees at the Transport Ministry have failed woefully to support the company.”

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The statement added: “Government has an obligation towards Ghanaians, the Government cannot continue to rely on the importation of Chinese, Korea and Indian buses at the detriment of Neoplan (Ghana) Limited, a 55 per cent Government owned Company. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

Records say the bus manufacturing company, during its almost 46 years of existence, has built over 4,000 buses for the government to support the transport sector.

The company can employ over 1,000 workers when in full production and running the shift system of production.

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