Managing Director of Inter-City State Transport Company (ISTC), Nana Akomea, has hinted that plans were far-advanced by his outfit to expand its operations to Nigeria and some other populous African countries.
He said the company was already plying the route to Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, and would venture into the Nigeria transport market.
Nana Akomea made this known to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport when they paid a working visit to the company head office in Accra.
The visit was to ascertain firsthand information on the company, their challenges and also familiarise themselves with their operations.
The committee toured the company facilities and witnessed the commissioning of the ISTC Driving School by the Minister of Transport, Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, which had been refurbished with the state-of-the-art equipment with the latest driving technology.
The transport minister also inaugurated the ISTC newly car rental service terminal, which is equipped with modern special utility vehicles and saloon cars for the consumption of the public.
He said though, the company was in crisis, his leadership, management and committed staff have turned around the company by increasing productivity and paying some debts the company was owing.
The managing director revealed that there were plans to establish stations at Kasoa, Pokuase, Ashaiman, all suburbs of Accra, to expand the local market in other to reduce passengers’ burden of moving far from their locations to the main ISTC yard to travel.
According to him, apart from the Asafo terminal in Kumasi, in Ashanti Region, the company was on course to establishing sub-stations in Kejetia and Sofoline, and also in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Nana Akomea said, to meet the expected demands, the company was in the process of securing 100 Daewoo customised coaches from China at a cost of US$17.5 million to increase its fleet of buses to 160.
He said, from the company’s then four buses daily on the Accra-Kumasi route, the ISTC now does more than 20 trips to Kumasi, the most profitable route in the country, since it moved its operations to Circle and Asafo, the most popular transport hubs in Accra and Kumasi respectively.
“My administration with the support of the board of directors are on course to reposition ISTC as the safest and preferred means of road transportation.”
Member of Parliament for Ayensuano and Chairman of the Committee, Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye, commended the management for turning around the fortunes of the company.
He welcomed the decision to expand their services to both the local and the sub-regional markets as there were economic potential on the targeted areas for expansion.
Mr Ayeh-Paye on the new fleet of coaches urged the engineers of the company to pay attention to the details of the specifications to ensure that the buses came with their parts and fit for the Ghanaian terrain.
He also urged the company’s management to ‘get closer to the committee’ and make their concerns known for speedy solutions.
That, he said, the committee would be privy to the plans and programmes of the company so as to advocate on their behalf to Parliament.