Business News of 2014-02-27

Gov’t to respond to haulage transport owners in a week

The parliamentary select committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism has stated that it expects a positive response from government on the demands of the Ghana Haulage Transport Owners Association protesting the implementation of the new axle load regime.

The committee has expressed disappointment about the decision of the Haulage Transport Owners Association to declare an abortive strike recently after petitioning the committee.

The association is demanding an increase in the allowed tonnage for six-axle haulage trucks to 68 tonnes to conform to that of neighbouring countries.

The new axle load regime requires trucks to carry 60 tonnes as against 68 tonnes demanded by the association. Speaking to Citi Business News, the chairman of the parliamentary select committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Amadu Sorgho said the committee has already engaged the Trade and Transport Ministry.

“We had a petition from them at the time parliament was on recess, so we spoke to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrissu which was positive and the minister of transport Dzifa Attivor who also responded positively,” he explained. Alhaji Sorogho indicated that a response from government is expected in the next one week on the engagements between the committee and all stakeholder Ministries.

According to him, despite the concerns of the truck drivers, which is genuine, government’s position is to protect the state of the country’s roads.

Ghanaian trucks ply largely landlocked countries particularly Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali who allow their trucks to carry 68 tonnes.

But the current new Road Traffic Regulations operational in Ghana, mean local trucks cannot compete favourably with their competitors from the sub region and might not break even.

The Ghana Haulage Transport Owners Association said it is hopeful the interventions by the parliamentary select committee on trade, industry and tourism will lead to a positive outcome.

In an interveiw with Citi Business News, the Greater Accra regional chairman of the association, Alhaji Yussif Danjuma said their 18,000 members are lamenting over the gradual collapse of their businesses.