The True Drivers Union has vehemently opposed the Ministry of Transport’s decision to reduce lorry fares by 10% following the president’s directive for drivers to return to taking passengers at full seating capacity.
According to them, the reduction will only cost them (drivers) more losses as the increase in lorry fares was not based on the social distancing directive but on other factors.
In an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Raymond Nyamador, co-host of the Happy Morning Show, Public Relations Officer of the True Drivers Union, Yaw Barimah said, “We don’t know why the gov’t will reduce the lorry fares. The basis for the 15% increase in fares was because of the 10 percent increment in Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) service charges, the sudden spike in prices of spare parts because of the border closure. The third issue is the automatic adjustments made to prices of fuel.”
He noted that because of the above mentioned reasons, it is inconsiderate for lorry fares to be cut down by 10%.
“We’re telling the government that it will be better if they open up Nsawam Prisons for drivers and mates to walk in and have a restful period rather than tell us to reduce lorry fares. We won’t do so, not now or ever,” Yaw Barimah exclaimed.
He argued that regardless of the leadership of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) agreeing to a 10% reduction in lorry fares effective August 1st 2020, their members are against it.
On July 7, 2020, the government approved a 15% hike in transport fares to cushion transport operators against the impact of the social distancing directive on their businesses.
However the easing of covid-19 restrictions on the transport sector ignited calls for a reduction in the fares.
After a series of meetings with stakeholders in the transport sector, fares have been reduced by 10% effective Saturday August 1, 2020. This leaves only 5% of the 15% increment.