National communication member of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Samuel Amoah, has revealed that the union has no interest in increasing transport fares of passengers in the country.
According to him, the situation is beyond drivers as they are faced with skyrocketing prices of fuel in the country. He stated that the major components influencing the union’s decision to increase fare also has to do with the soaring prices of spare parts, lubricants and taxes
Mr Amoah explained that once these components surge, there is the need to increase fares and they have no qualms implementing a reduction once these items stabilizes.
“Our major interest is not in increasing our transport fares. But whenever transport fares increase, our business goes down because the number of passengers that board vehicles reduces. So, what we are looking for is for government to reduce the petroleum product. If it happens the fuel comes down, we will not push to increase our transport fares because when we increase the fares it doesn’t help us…”Samuel Amoah
Mr Amoah indicated that drivers are usually dismayed when confronted with transport increment. He highlighted that when transport fares are increased, it affects everything in the country, including prices of goods at the market. This, he explained, is the reason why the union is pushing for a meeting with the transport ministry to reach a consensus on reduction of petroleum products in the country.
Transport ministry engages GPRTU
Commenting on the ongoing meeting between government and the union, Mr Amoah stated that the meeting was rescheduled to later this evening based on the transport ministry’s request. He indicated that the union is committed to seeing a resolution on the matter and has held on to increasing fares until it is through with the meeting with transport ministry.
“So, we know there is postponement of whatever meeting we are holding and I strongly believe the ministry is not helping the whole situation. Because if it happens like that, the drivers or the unions are not happy about what is happening. At the close of the day, all monies they get, they use to buy fuel and go home empty-handed.”Samuel Amoah
Mr Amoah highlighted that the union has resolved to increase the fares by 20%, pending government’s approval, as against its initial 30% request. With this, he urged government to be forthcoming in its interaction with the union.
Among other things, he noted that the union has taken into consideration the current economic hardship in the country in making its demands.
“We have given ourselves up to next week. By next week, at least we have to hear something, else, I think we have to come out on our own like it happened recently in May when we came out with our 20% without the approval of government. That is one thing we don’t want to do [and] that is why we are pushing that they should have time for us to meet then we all jaw-jaw [and] come out with an appropriate percentage that will help the drivers and passengers as well.”Samuel Amoah