Reduce transport fares immediately - COPEC to drivers

BY: Getrude Ankah Nyavi

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has called on commercial transport operators to reduce their fares immediately as they return to their normal loading capacity.

The government recently approved a 15 percent increment in transport fares following fuel price hikes amid social distancing in vehicles.

In his 14th address on update on the national response to the pandemic Sunday night, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said life could not be put on hold indefinitely once it was clear that until treatment was found, the COVID-19 would remain a part of the life of the people. 

He subsequently lifted the restrictions on transport operators for them to return to loading to their full capacity.

Read also: President Akufo-Addo relaxes more COVID-19 restrictions

In a press statement signed and issued by the Executive Secretary of COPEC, Mr Duncan Amoah on Sunday said, COPEC said: “We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tomorrow”.

Mr Amoah explained that “What this directive means is that every revenue that until the date has been losing per trip by the commercial transport operators before the announcement during the period and for which commuters have recently been forced to cough up additional 15-30% transport fare increases is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith”.

Read a copy of full statement below:

CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA

ACCRA

26/07/20

REDUCE TRANSPORT FARES IMMEDIATELY.

The President of the Republic in his 14th Covid-19 address to the nation on Sunday has among other things issued new directives for the commercial transport operators to forthwith pick the normal number of passengers as before the lockdown and the accompanying social distancing restrictions.

What this directive means is that every revenue that until the date has been losing per trip by the commercial transport operators before the announcement during the period and for which commuters have recently been forced to cough up additional 15-30% transport fare increases is now restored in favour of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.

The Chamber takes cognisance of the fact that the period prior to the covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions had fuel prices trading at ghc5.650/litre but due to a global fall in demand and its attendant effects on pricing, fuel prices dropped by over 30% to below Ghc3.890/litre and has in recent times gone up marginally by a cumulative average of 16% to currently average 4.80/litre at the pumps.

The above thus renders any possible argument on the part of transport operators for a stay of current transport fares at this point, citing the marginal fuel price increases as an excuse ostensibly to deny Ghanaian commuters the deserved reductions in transport fares moot since the fuel price variance before and after the lockdown period remains a distant 10%+ positive to the commercial transport operators at this point.

We are, by this statement calling on some of our major stakeholders in the transport sector including the GPRTU, Concerned Drivers Association, Committed Drivers Association and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council to immediately without fail, ensure that transport fares are reversed by close of day tomorrow, not only to previous rates but a further 5% reduction possibly on the previous rates before these recent increases since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre-covid-19 lockdown period.

Signed.

Duncan Amoah
Executive Secretary.