The Chamber of Petroleum Consumer-Ghana (COPEC) has called on the various transport operators in the country to reverse the recent increments in transport fares with immediate effect.
Giving a one-day ultimatum to the transport unions and associations, COPEC highlighted that since the fuel prices remain “positive by at least a further 12% from the pre covid-19 lockdown period,” it is only prudent on the part of the commercial drivers to reduce their transport charges.
President Akufo-Addo, in his 14th address to the nation on Sunday, July 26, 2020 directed commercial drivers to pick the usual number of passengers, however, with strict adherence to the appropriate safety etiquettes.
The Chamber says all revenue lost before and during the 15% hike in transport fares “is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.”
“We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Cordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tommorow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases,” a statement signed by Duncan Amoah, the Executive Secretary of the chamber said.
The Chamber admits that the period before the imposition of the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions recorded various degrees of instabilities in fuel prices, a situation “which renders any possible argument on the part of transport operators for stay of current transport fares,” yet passengers deserve to benefit some necessary reductions in the fares.
“The Chamber takes cognisance of the fact that the period prior to the covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions had fuel prices trading at ghc5.650/litre but due to a global fall in demand and its attendant effects on pricing, fuel prices dropped by over 30% to below Ghc3.890/litre and has in recent times gone up marginally by a cumulative average of 16% to currently average 4.80/litre at the pumps,” the statement added.
The Government of Ghana, earlier in July, approved a proposal from public transport operators to increase fares by 15%, which took effect from July 11, 2020 across the country.
The Unions, especially the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) said they were making huge losses over the directive to take on board fewer passengers to be able to maintain social distancing on their buses.
Thus, they called for either a revert to full seating capacity or a hike in transport fares to make up for their losses.
The directive to reduce the intake of passengers in commercial vehicles was to make room for the observation of social distancing while preventing the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.
Story by: Christian Yalley | universnewsroom.com