The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is demanding that lorry fares be reduced immediately following President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive that transport operators can revert to taking full capacity of their vehicles.
The driver unions had pushed for an increment in lorry fares citing the observance of the COVID-19 protocols as a measure which had a toll on their sales.
Even though the government approved a 15% increment in the fares to help cushion them, checks revealed that some drivers charged far more than what was approved.
Following the President’s 14th address to the nation on measure taken against the spread of COVID-19 in which he eased the restrictions in the transport sector and allowed for operators to load full capacity, COPEC wants the fares reversed.
“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 [Monday],” COPEC said in a July 26 statement.
Below is the full statement from COPEC
CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA
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 favor of our commercial transport operators and thus the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith.
The Chamber takes cognizance 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