The umbrella group of bulk consumers of petroleum products have warned the Akufo Addo administration to “immediately” cause the reduction of the high transportation fees slapped on commuters recently.
According to the chamber, President Akufo Addo’s latest COVID-19 address allowing commercial transport operators to load full capacity should directly translate to reduced transport fares.
During the COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing, regulations imposed in March 2020, transportation companies were forced to increase fares in direct response to the drastic reduction of the number of passengers they could transport per trip.
However, President Akufo Addo reversed these restrictions during his now-regular COVID-19 public address on Sunday, July 27, 2020.
“What this directive means is that every revenue that until 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 stated in a statement released on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
“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 statement signed by Duncan Amoah, the Executive Secretary of the chamber of petroleum consumers called on transport unions to drop prices.
“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,” the statement charged.
There is no guarantee that the government or the transport unions will heed this advice, in what is set to escalate into a showdown that may have implications on the December general elections