Ghana has begun assembling Cash-in-Transit (CIT) armoured vehicles to facilitate the transportation of cash by banks within the country.
The CIT vehicles do not only promise to make the transportation of bulk money easier, but also, per design, tends to be more reliable – due to its robust and secured nature against robbery attacks.
Presently, the first four vehicles, fitted by DIHOC- KENAKI Manufacturing Company Limited (DIKMAC) at its armoured vehicle assembling plant at Burma Camp in Accra, are ready to be deployed for use.
DIKMAC is a joint venture company (JVC) between the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), the private commercial entity of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and Kenaki Manufacturing Company Limited.
DIKMACS activities were brought into the limelight on Wednesday, February 1 2023, after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana was invited to inspect the vehicles; as part of inauguration, sod cutting and handing over activities ahead of the 2022 end-of-year get together of the GAF.
Kenneth Akibate, DIKMAC Managing Director (MD), in an interview said the vehicles would soon be on the roads, as a bank had already arranged to get one.
Mr. Akibate recalled that the JV was intended towards assembling armoured vehicles and other defence and security equipments for the GAF and other security forces within the region.
“However, the exigency finding a solution to attacks on Bullion Vans by armed robbers, led to the necessary intervention to assemble here in this plant locally Armoured Bullion Vans to help protect lives of the police escorts, bank workers and also safeguard cash and other valuables in transit.”Mr. Akibate
There have been a myriad of bullion van attacks that claimed several lives in the last three years, including that of a police officer on duty in one of the vehicles, with many others injured.
According to the MD of DIKMAC, when the issue of armed attacks on bullion vans became rampant, moreover, a national crisis in 2021, DIKMAC, being assisted by the GAF, proposed a solution to resolve the CIT challenge facing the Banking sector in Ghana.
The Kenaki team, Mr. Akibate said, through its networks, rallied the technical backing and expertise of Isreal’s biggest State-owned Defence Industrial Complex, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to set up a plant for the assembling works.
A Control Centre to be established to monitor CIT operations
Accompanying the CIT, Mr. Akibate said should be a control centre – to monitor and track the vehicles nation-wide, while DIKMAC also retrofit ‘soft-skin’ CIT vehicles for existing CIT Companies in line with the armouring requirements of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Mr. Akibate, additionally stated that while various stakeholder engagements; involving the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Police Service, and Ghana Association of Bankers had been held, the DIKMAC’s CIT was endorsed by the Armed Forces Council.
Brigadier General William Agyapong, Director General, Defence Industries Limited said the initiative formed parts of efforts aimed at making the Forces self-sufficient as it had the goodwill, human resource and technical knowhow to support that to fruition.
Brigadier General Benjamin Amoah-Boakye, Director General of Legal Services, also in his submission said the JVC was part of 13 JVCs formed under the DIHOC to create jobs and undertake projects of value to GAF and the general public.
This, Brigadier Amoah-Boakye said included footwear manufacturing, infrastructure construction and assembling of electronic items.
Meanwhile, Ghana recently, is making great progress with its local production of vehicles, aimed at import reduction of cars and its coming back effects on GDP and growth sustainability.
TOYOTA TSUSHO MANUFACTURING GHANA CO. LIMITED recently commissioned its first locally assembled Suzuki Swift in Ghana.
This is one of the initiatives based on the MOU on Cooperation in Developing Automotive Industry signed between Toyota Tsusho and the Government of Ghana at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
Mr. Koichi Suzuki, Managing Officer for Middle East and Africa Division of Suzuki Motor Corporation in his address during a ceremony held to mark the start of the production, elaborated on the fact that the business had increased sales in Africa by 60% to 116 thousand units and in Ghana increased by 63% to over 1 thousand units in the year 2022, hence, their decision to open an assembling plant in Ghana.
This, Mr.Suzuki said will go a long way to enhance Suzuki’s presence in Africa, especially in Ghana.
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