By: Anthony Sedzro
The Republic of Turkey has donated 30 passenger buses to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) at a short ceremony on the premises of the Institute of Local Government Studies today.
The 34 seater Mercedes branded buses were presented by Her Excellency Nesrin Bayazit, Turkish Ambassador to Ghana and were received by the Honourable Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister for MLGRD. They were donated by the government of Turkey together with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB).
The Turkish ambassador said that when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Ghana last year, he had talks with former President John Mahama and the issue of buses to beef up public transportation in Ghana was discussed. Therefore, this presentation is as a result of President Erdoğan’s visit.
She said the buses will be donated to various district assemblies across the country. H.E. Bayazit further explained that the donation is meant to contribute towards rural development to realise the ministry’s vision of a more sustainable and equitable decentralisation of services.
Receiving the buses, Hajia Alima Mahama thanked the government and people of Turkey for their continued support and promised that every region will receive some of the buses.
Hajia Alima, who is also the Member of Parliament representing the Nalerigu/Gambaga constituency in the Northern Region, was of the view that Ghana needs to pick lessons from Turkey because, the latter elects its mayors and as Ghana plans to do same in future, there is more we can learn from Turkey in that regard.
In a speech, Ismail Hakki Turunc, a member of the Istanbul Metropolitan Assembly and Advisor to the Mayor of Istanbul said the buses were sent from the Istanbul Metropolitan Assembly and they hoped it will bring comfort to the Ghanaian public. Hakki Turunc revealed that the buses were accompanied by their own spare parts to allow for easy maintenance.
He revealed that a lot of reciprocal visits have been taking place between the Istanbul Metropolitan Assembly and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the presentation demonstrates the strong ties between the two bodies.
Osei Bonsu Amoah, the Deputy Minister for Local Government said that the presentation shows the deepening of the bilateral relations between Ghana and Turkey and commended Ambassador Bayazit for her hard work in making this possible.
Present at the event were Honourable Elizabeth Sackey, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister; Arif Emecen, General Manager, Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel Company (IETT); Dr. Dadson Awunyo-Vitor, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies; officials from Istanbul Metropolitan Assembly; officials from MLGRD, staff of (ILGS); amongst others.