Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia (left)  exchanging  pleasantries with Nana Nimako Bresiama, National Chairman, GPRTU, while other executives of the Union look on
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia (left) exchanging pleasantries with Nana Nimako Bresiama, National Chairman, GPRTU, while other executives of the Union look on
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Electric vehicle charging stations to be set up this month — Bawumia

The government will this month begin the construction of electric vehicle charging stations as part of preparations towards the introduction of commercial electric buses in the country.

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The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who announced this in Accra yesterday, said the government was expecting the arrival of 100 electric buses in the country this year. He said 50 of the buses were expected in the country before the end of August this year.

Dr Bawumia, who was addressing the 11th quadrennial delegates conference of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union ( GPRTU) at the Pentecost Convention Centre at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region, said the charging stations would be placed at virtually every filling station in the country.

The three-day conference which attracted delegates from across the country was on the theme: "Transitioning from fossil fuel to electric for cleaner environment — The role of transport unions for a digital economy."

Charging stations

The Vice-President further said that the charging stations would be hybrid, and that he (Dr Bawumia) would facilitate the investment of 2000 megawatts of solar power to complement the current generation of power as part of major reforms to help the transport sector.

He, therefore, charged members of GPRTU to embrace the new initiative by the government as it would help them own the buses, saying "it will help all of us". Dr Bawumia expressed optimism that the introduction of the electric buses would minimise the cost of transportation and also reduce the burden on cost of spare parts.

He also said that the government would on August 12, this year, launch a hailing taxi system for commercial taxi drivers in the country. Dr Bawumia, who is the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said the payment system would he digitalised into a "tap and go" system to enable mobile money and card usage.

The Vice-President further told the delegates that he intended to facilitate the introduction of a new import duty regime which would ensure a flat rate duty for imports and also benchmark import duty in the country to ensure transparency and curb smuggling.

The Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, announced that the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) would from next year implement a law to bar all non-union drivers from operating and, therefore, appealed to the GPRTU to support the authority to ensure the successful roll-out of the law.

The General-Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, advised the GPRTU members to be committed to their financial obligations to the TUC. He also said that his outfit would establish a labour bank to give loans to members for building and purchase of cars.

Appeal

The Chairman of GPRTU, Nana Nimako Bresiama, appealed to the government to cancel the payment of penalties by vehicle owners who default in renewing their roadworthy certificates.

He described the practice as a rip-off, saying "how do you expect a driver who was unable to repair his or her car to honour a penalty because he failed to renew the road worthy certificates on time?"

The Omanhen of Gomoa Assin, Obrifo Ahunako Ahor Ankobia II, advised members of the union to unite and eschew acts that would divide their front, particularly in this election year.

He commended the GPRTU for its contribution to national development over the years. The chief also expressed concern about the frequent increase in the prices of petroleum products which he said affected businesses greatly.

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