COPEC wants transport fares reduced after Akufo-Addo relaxed COVID-19 regulations

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC) has called on authorities to slash transport fares following the announcement for operators to load passengers at full capacity.

COPEC-Ghana made the calls following the latest address by President Akufo-Addo announcing further ease in restrictions on the transportation sector, religious services and the hospitality.

The government-issued a directive after COVID-19 was detected in Ghana on March 12, for all commercial vehicles to reduce the number of passengers to observe social distancing.

Social distancing, lockdowns and other restrictions were key to tackling the spread.
Commercial vehicle operators raised concerns about revenue losses as passenger size shrunk while fuel cost increments shot up.

After a meeting between commercial drivers and the Ministry of Transport, fares were increased by at least 15% beginning July 7.

Less than a month, the capacity of operators has been restored to full capacity.

The Executive Secretary of COPEC-Ghana, Duncan Amoah, therefore argued that “the recent increases of between 15-30% must and should be reversed forthwith”.

To buttress his point, he pointed out 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”.

In a statement, Mr Amoah said the above thus “renders any possible argument on the part of transport operators for 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”.

He believed the fare hikes should not hold since the fuel price variance before and after the lockdown period remains more than 10%.

COPEC-Ghana, therefore, appealed to the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (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 tommorow [Monday, July 27], 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”.


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