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Reduce fares now – COPEC to transport operators

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The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has called on commercial transport operators to reduce their fares immediately as they return to taking passengers at full seating capacity.

“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 statement.

The government recently approved a 15% increment in transport fares following fuel price hikes amid social distancing in vehicles.

During his 14th address to update the public on measures taken by the government in the COVID-19 battle on Sunday, July 26, 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo said commercial vehicles can now take full capacity.

“In consultation with the Ministries of Transport and Aviation and the leadership of transport operators, Government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros, and buses. The wearing of masks in vehicles and aircraft, and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols, remain mandatory,” said the President.

But COPEC in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah, however, suggested that the recent fare increases could be slashed by 5% “since fuel price variance as at this point remains positive by at least a further 12% from the pre-COVID-19 lockdown period.”

Below is the full statement from COPEC

CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA

ACCRA

26/07/20

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

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