Commercial vehicle drivers in parts of the country say they have been compelled to hike up transport fares due to the latest fuel price increases and the government directive to reduce the number of passengers.The drivers, who are part of the group called the Concerned Drivers Union say even before the fares will be approved by their regulator, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), members have been directed to implement the fare increase.
Vice-Chairman of the Concerned Drivers Union, David Agboado, told Accra-based Citi FM that their leadership and members are convinced that it is only fair that the passengers bear the cost of the recent fuel price hikes.
“We are telling our passengers that from (Monday, July 6, 2020) when you go out, calculate 30 per cent extra of what you used to pay,” Mr. Agboado told Citi FM.
He further said he did not expect the police to interfere with their decision to increase fares, adding that the union has been sensitising commuters on the expected increase.
“If the police do that, on Tuesday, no vehicle, absolutely no vehicle will move within the 16 regions,” he threatened.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has urged the government to implement a fuel subsidy scheme for commercial vehicle drivers.
"The Chamber believes implementing a subsidization scheme on petroleum products specifically targeting the commercial drivers will be a good incentive for them to continue adhering to the social distancing protocols whiles curtailing the harsh effects of these significant increases in transport fares on the general commuting public,” Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, has said.
Duncan Amoah also called on the Central Bank to put in place some measures to guarantee fixed forex rates for petroleum importers in order to curtail the harsh effects the depreciation of the local currency has on fuel prices which equally affects consumers.