The new cars were to beef up the presidential fleet and were ordered a few days to the handing over of power to President Akufo-Addo.
Per the contractual terms, the vehicles were to be delivered within 60 days after which payment would be made.
However, the delivery of the vehicles had run into difficulties because of some unresolved issues, including the indefinite moratorium placed on the acquisition of new vehicles by the Akufo-Addo regime.
But with the valid contract between the importing company – Amalgamated Security Services Limited and the State – Ghana government may be slapped with huge judgement debt if it goes ahead to abrogate the contract entered into on January 3, 2017.
The $9m worth of contract for the procurement of 55 vehicles for the presidency was signed on behalf of the previous government by Alhaji Salifu Osman, a Deputy National Security Coordinator.
The presidential fleet covers the president, vice president, the first and the second ladies, the presidential press corps and medical team.
The vehicles are mostly bullet-proof Mercedes Benz (S600) meant for the security of the president, his vice and their wives, cross-country vehicles for long distant treks and escorts, two cross-country rapid intervention vehicle, two cross-country ambulance and a pickup truck with radio and communication as lead cars.
A larger number of the vehicles was to be allocated to the office of the president and the vice president while the remaining were to go to the office of the first and the second ladies as well as the security detail at the presidency.
Even though everybody is maintaining silence on the deal, a senior member of the previous NDC administration confirmed that the Mahama regime indeed placed the order to re-stock the depleting presidential fleet for the incoming regime in order to make room for the smooth running of the new administration.
The source was not ready to give details, saying that it is a security issue and so the National Security was handling the transaction.
Currently, the president uses a 10-year-old BMW which occasionally breaks down with high servicing cost.
And when the vehicles go for servicing, he uses his private ones – a situation which is detrimental to his personal security.
Recently, while returning from an official engagement at Peduase Lodge, near Aburi in the Eastern Region, DAILY GUIDE learnt the BMW nearly broke down, compelling the driver to reduce the speed limit. It was later detected that the ball joint was on the verge of dislocating.
The dearth of vehicles is also affecting other departments at the presidency.
The office of the first lady, according to sources, oftentimes has to rely on National Security for vehicles to prosecute her charity project outside Accra. It did happen during the recent event in Kumasi relating to fundraising of about GH¢9 million for the building of an emergency Maternity Block for the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital to reduce maternal and infant deaths.
As it is, the hands of the new administration are tied as the new vehicles are still in Dubai ready for air-lifting to Ghana upon clearance.
The delay is accruing rent charges and the agent is not ready to accommodate the cost any longer, DAILY GUIDE has gathered.
The vehicles are customized for Ghana and cannot be used by any other country.
They have adequate security features as they are designed to withstand the effects of a hand grenade as well as other possible attacks.
They are fitted with radio, video communication and other warning devices for the use of the presidency.
According to DAILY GUIDE checks, four companies were invited to submit bids before Amalgamated Security Services Ltd. was selected, looking at its track record in terms of delivering superior technology and after sales service.
By Fortune Alimi