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MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT ADJUDGED IPR “BEST IN CRISIS AND ISSUES COMMUNICATION”


The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has been adjudged “Best in Crisis and Issues Communication” at the 8th National PR and Communications Awards ceremony, organized by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) last Saturday February 29, 2020 in Accra.

For the first time in the history of the Institute’s competitive awards, which seeks to recognize the efforts of leading Public Relations Practitioners  and Communications  Experts and the first time a Civil Service institution participated, MoT won over MTN Ghana, Ogilvy Ghana and Stanbic Bank in the “Best in Crisis and Issues Communication”  category.

The Public Relations Unit entered the competition with all content and evidence as regards the demolition exercise at the former Public Works DAepartment (PWD) yard at Tudu-Accra, on Sunday, 7th January, 2018. The exercise paved which paved the way for the construction of the Ultra-Modern bus terminal for agencies under the Road Transport sub-sector of the ministry as well as the public.

Background

The Government of Ghana, in 2016, acquired for the construction of two bus terminals at the Adentan-Municipality and Accra-Tudu respectively. Subsequently, MoT acquired a 4-Acre land at Tudu-Accra which had official bungalows owned by the Ministry of Works and Housing and occupied by staff of the Public Works Department (PWD), an agency of the Ministry of Works and housing, Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Staff of the Civil Service for several years.

Additionally, the yard had offices for staff of the Audit Service, State Housing Corporation, the ‘PRESTIGE’ office of the State Protocol Department, a Furniture manufacturing company, a warehouse for a Lebanese company, stalls, shops, a commercial lorry station and three Telecommunication Masts hosting services for MTN, Vodafone and Tigo at the time situated at various parts of the yard.

 

MoT, the Project Consultants and Contractors had earlier engaged the Ministry of Works and Housing on several occasions where it was agreed that the Ministry of Works and Housing would communicate to its staff and Agencies as well as other occupants of the yard that MoT is the new owner of that space and that all occupants should be relocated for work to begin.

 

The Challenge

The two terminals were to be completed at the same period, however, the Adentan terminal was completed whilst that of Tudu had not begun. The Ministry of Transport had earlier requested for a six-month extension period at a penalty when the expiry date for the loan facility was almost due and had asked for another 6 month extension period at the same cost, making it a year.

Occupants of the PWD yard were yet to vacate the space after several notices requesting them to do so and had shown resistance in vacating the yard.

Meanwhile, failure to begin and complete the project within the extension period would lead to total expiry of the loan facility.

 

The Communication Plan

The PR Unit put together a communication plan covering various activities at the Pre-event, Event and Post event phases of the entire project.

 

Communication Objectives

 

  • To create awareness about the demolition exercise at the PWD Yard before January7, 2018.
  • To ensure an Incident-Free demolition exercise at the PWD Yard on January 7, 2018.
  • To coordinate and handle all communications efforts till project is completed.

 

Implementation

Before the incident free- demolition exercise, occupants and traders had been well informed about the exercise.  Journalists assigned to cover event had been thoroughly briefed. Police personnel were deployed for the exercise as well as protection of properties on January 7.

The PR Unit periodically monitored the processes and eventually evaluated the entire exercise whilst directing concerns to appropriate authorities.

 

Humanitarian Support

Occupants of government bungalows were provided with cash for a two-year accommodation to enable them relocate for work to be completed in good time.

 

Legal Twist

MoT worked with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney Generals Department worked on an Interim Injunction from the High Court of Justice, Land Division served on the ministry by two of the owners of the Masts at the yard, leading to an out of court settlement.

 

Reconstruction Of Stalls

MoT ensured that all stalls at the STC yard affected by the demolition exercise were reconstructed.

Sod Cutting Ceremony And Completion Of Project

A sod was cut for the construction of the terminal on 1st March, 2018 and project was completed in February, 2019.

 

Conclusion

The series of meaningful and well-coordinated communication activities provided an avenue for the Ministry to provide the ultra-modern inter and intra-city bus terminal at Tudu, to facilitate transportation in and out of Accra.