Business News of 2013-12-23

Sand, stone contractors unhappy with axle load directive

The Sand and Stone Contractors Association of Ghana (SSCAG) has expressed dissatisfaction with the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) over the authority’s new directive on axle load.

The GHA has directed that with effect from January 1, 2014 no tipper truck can load above its bucket level

However, under the directive, GHA will allow tipper trucks from government agencies to load 38 tonnes capacity, while private tipper truck drivers will be compelled to load 27 tonnes capacity.

The association has, therefore, challenged the authority to come out and educate the public on the standards guiding the importation of trucks (type, size and tonnage) if there are any.

The association pleaded that it be given two years for its members to phase out completely all over-weight trucks which the authorities permitted into the country in order not to throw thousands out of their jobs.

Concerns of the association

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the National Secretary of the SSCAG, Mr Jonathan Omabale, stated that it was unfair for the GHA to allow tipper trucks from government agencies to load 38 tonnes, while private tipper truck drivers were compelled to load 27 tonnes.

That, he said, affected their businesses, since tipper trucks could not load half-way, adding that “sand owners usually reject half-loaded trucks”.

He added that by that directive from the GHA, the government had purported to get them out of their jobs.

He further indicated that the government failed to carry out education and sensitisation for its members, for which reason it was improper for its members to be arrested for no cause.

For his part, the National Chairman of the SSCAG, Mr Anthony Agbemehia, called on the government to quickly address the concerns of the association to forestall a possible demonstration to register their grievances.

Suggested Solution

The association called on the Ghana Standards Authority, the GHA, the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to come out with a common position on the importation of trucks and educate the public to enable importers to understand the technicalities involved.