Ghana has begun assembling Cash-in-Transit (CIT) armoured vehicles to make the transportation of bulk money by banks in the country robust and secure against robbery attacks.
Currently, 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.
Some of the amoured vehicles
Mr Kenneth Akibate (middle) showing some of the assembled vehicles to President Akufo-Addo on tour of the facility
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.
This came to light on Wednesday when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inspected the vehicles as part of inauguration, sod cutting and handing over activities ahead of the 2022 end-of-year get together of the GAF.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, the DIKMAC Managing Director, Kenneth Akibate, said the vehicles would soon be on the roads as a bank had arranged to get one.
He recalled that the JV was meant to assemble armoured vehicles and other defence and security equipment 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,” he added.
In the last three years, there have been series of bullion van attacks that has claimed several lives including a police officer on duty in one of the vehicles with many others injured.
Mr Akibate said the Kenaki team, through its networks obtained technical backing of the biggest State-owned Defence Industrial Complex in Israel, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to set up the plant.
He said that when the issue of armed attacks on bullion vans became a national crisis in 2021, DIKMAC, with the support of the GAF, proposed a solution to resolve the CIT challenge facing the Banking sector in Ghana.
He said the CIT vehicles were to be accompanied by a control centre to monitor to track the vehicles nation-wide, while DIKMAC was also ready to retrofit ‘soft-skin’ CIT vehicles for existing CIT Companies in line with the Armouring requirements of the Bank of Ghana.
Mr Akibate stated that the DIKMAC’s CIT had been endorsed by the Armed Forces Council while various stakeholder engagements, involving the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Police Service, and Ghana Association of Bankers had been held.
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 said the JVC was part of 13 JVCs formed under the DIHOC to create jobs and undertake projects of value to GAF and the public including footwear manufacturing, infrastructure construction and assembling of electronic items
BY JONATHAN DONKOR & ABIGAIL ARTHUR