GH¢3.6 million bus branding saga: Smarttys pays first instalment of refund

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5246795611507_8284683876567Smarttys Management and Production Limited has paid the first instalment of the refunds in connection with the rebranding of 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses by the Ministry of Transport.

The branding of the buses was done at a cost of GH¢3.6 million.

A letter signed by lawyer for Smarttys Management and Production Limited, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, to which the cheque paid into the account of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) was attached said, “See attached a cheque intended as the settling of the agreed first instalment of three hundred thousand cedis drawn on the client’s account of Cromwell Gray LLP.”

The letter made reference to the Attorney General’s letters of December 29, 2015 and January 7, 2016, on the refunds to be made, and also made reference to modes of payment reached.

Modes of payment

The letter of January 7, 2016 by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, which was addressed to Mr Kissi Agyebeng said a figure of GH¢1,548,608.04 had been arrived at as the amount to be refunded by Smarttys Management and Production Limited.

“In consultation with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance, this amount was arrived at taking into consideration the following factors raised in your letter, revised value added tax position, revised withholding tax position and a set off of GH¢27,173.74 withholding tax over deductions,” the letter added.

The letter indicated the acceptance of the request to pay the revised amount in full on or before March 31, 2016.

It said interest on the revised amount would be frozen subject to Smarttys Management and Production Limited making full payment  of an amount between GH¢300,000 on or before January 29, 2016.

“The remainder to be paid in two equal instalments on or before February 29, 2016 and March 31, 2016, respectively,” the letter said.

It directed that all payments should be made by cheque in the name of EOCO.

“Please be advised that government reserves the right to take all relevant actions or steps to recover all moneys owed together with interest accrued calculated at the prevailing bank rate from 29th January 2016 till date of final payment if you fail to make payment within the stipulated time,” the letter said.

Context

The branding of the new Chinese Huanghai buses for the MMT with portraits of John Mahama and past presidents caused public outcry, resulting in the resignation of the Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Attivor, in December.

Subsequently, the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, ordered the Attorney General to probe the contract and report back to him.

The Attorney General presented her report on December 22, 2015, directing the refunding of money found to have been overpaid to Smarttys in the contract.

-Daily Graphic

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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