Transport operators threaten strike Thursday

BY: Donatella Kudoto
Mr Godfred Abulbire (with mic), General Secretary, GPRTU, with Nana Nimako Bresiamah, National Chairman, GPRTU, as he addressed yesterday’s news conference. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Mr Godfred Abulbire (with mic), General Secretary, GPRTU, with Nana Nimako Bresiamah, National Chairman, GPRTU, as he addressed yesterday’s news conference. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The Coalition of Private Road Transport Commercial Operators Union (CPRTCOU) has threatened to strike if the government does not reduce prices of fuel.

The group has given the government a three-day window to act on its request or face the wrath of its members.

The strike action is to commence at 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

The coalition made the demand during a news conference in Accra yesterday to express its frustrations and the effects of fuel taxes on its members.

The CPRTCOU consists of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Association of Tipper Truck Drivers, Harbour Transport Owners, the Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, the Ghana Committed Drivers Association, the Concerned Drivers Association, Digital Drivers, commercial motorbike riders, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, among others.

Pump prices

On behalf of the coalition, the General Secretary of the GPRTU, Mr Godfred Abulbire, said there had been an unending surge in the pump prices of petroleum products in Ghana in recent months.

He said taxes, levies and margins on petroleum products were the main causes of the continuous rise in the prices of fuel.

“These taxes, levies and margins sum up to GH¢2.43 per litre of petrol and GH¢2.41 per litre of diesel,” he said.

He said the year began with a fuel price of GH¢4.950 per litre for either diesel or petrol, but as of the first week of November 2021 it was GH¢6.90, representing more than 35 per cent cumulative increment.

Mr Abulbire said the price per gallon of petrol or diesel had increased from GH¢22.28 in January 2021 to GH¢31.05 in November 2021, representing GH¢8.77 increment.

Effect

The General Secretary of the GPRTU pointed out that the brunt of the high taxes on fuel were being borne by commercial transport operators.

He said the recent increment in fuel prices did not correspond with the increment in transport fares “as although fuel prices have increased by 39.39 per cent between January and November, transport fares have only increased by 13 per cent effective June 2, 2021”.

He added that the surges in fuel prices did not promote the income and welfare of operators in the commercial transport business.

“Therefore, we call on government to scrap the taxes, levies and margins on the price build-up.

We make this appeal because the commercial transport operator and vehicle users in general cannot continue to pay for debt caused by government appointees in the energy sector,” he said.

The National President of the Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, Mr Mohammed Tango, said their members had resolved to make the strike an effective one by parking their vehicles from 3 p.m. on November 11, 2021.