BY: Naa Anyema Collison
Some concern transport unions that are not part of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) have hiked transport fares by 20%, effective from today.
They are the Ghana Committed Drivers Association, International Drivers Road Transport Union, Truth Drivers Union, Concern Drivers Association as well as other unions and associations. According to a statement signed by their leadership, the increase has become necessary given the number of taxes on fuel announced by the government in the 2021 Budget and was subsequently approved by Parliament.
“With these developments, if we delay any further in increasing lorry fares by at least 20%, our transport business will collapse. We, therefore, wish to impress upon our customers and the general public to bear with us as we have also factored their financial situation into our calculations before arriving at the 20%” it stressed.
“For the sake of our customers and the general public, we arrived at the 20% lorry fare increase by dividing 120 by 100 and multiplying it by the old or existing lorry fare”, it pointed out.
“Our dear customers and the general public must know that we have absorbed a lot of the petroleum products price increases for a long time and have gotten to a stage where we can no longer contain it. We selflessly operated and abided by the decision of the stakeholders to increase lorry fares twice in a year”, it further said.
“However, we the private road transport operators have been at the receiving end of this decision for far too long. While we diligently obey the decision, prices of petroleum products keep increasing without corresponding increases in lorry fares”, it added.
In their strong view, this has become an unfair business practice with dire consequences on their businesses, adding “we have, therefore, resolved that any time fuel prices, spare parts, and other levies relating road transport goes up, we will also adjust our lorry fares to reflect the increment.”
It furthers said “we wish to state that we are not part of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) which together with the government fix percentage increase in lorry fares. It must interest the general public to note that the GPRTU for some time now has pulled out of the council and now joined the TUC and has since been negotiating with the government for an increase in lorry fares on its own.”
“It has even gone ahead to put it in its constitution, Article 2 (k). It will therefore be difficult for us to keep waiting for them to conclude negotiations on the percentage of increase in lorry fares.”
In 2016, it said a gallon of fuel for instance was sold between GH14.000 and GH16.00. Since 2017, it added, the prices have increased astronomically to the current GH27.22 pesewas but without the corresponding increases in lorry fares.