Transport Minister Visits flight ET.AQV crash scene

Mrs. Dzifa AtivorThe Minister of Transport Mrs. Dzifa Aku Ativor, has waned commercial drivers to comply with the latest reduction in transport fares or face sanctions.

She said the ministry in collaboration with the leadership of the various transport unions, was monitoring the development on the new fare regime.

Speaking in an interview with The Ghanaian Times yesterday on the sidelines of an appraisal visit to the accident scene of the crushed Ethiopian cargo plane in Accra, Mrs. Ativor said there was the need for the drivers to reduce the fares to save the ordinary Ghanaian the high cost of transport fares.

According to her, the ministry has set up a monitoring team which was working in collaboration with the Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC), the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and all those who matters in the transport sector.

“Any station or driver which refuses to reduce the fares will be sanctioned. For example, when you bring your vehicle to the lorry park, you won’t be allowed to load”, adding that was deterrent enough to keep the drivers in check.

She believed drivers were not ready for such sanctions because “that is where they get their daily bread, that’s where their masters will demand accountability……but I hope with time, they will comply but we are monitoring”.

Responding to claims that the reductions were minute to trigger confrontations and compel drivers to reduce their fares, Mrs. Ativor said such claims were misplaced.

“No matter how minute the reductions are, every driver must comply because at the end of it, it will bring some relief to the passenger just as they (drivers) buy fuel at reduced prices at the fuel pumps”.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the GPRTU Mr. Stephen K. Okudzeto is appalled at the refusal of some drivers to comply with the new fares.

In a press release copied The Ghanaian Times, Mr. Okudzeto said “information reaching this office indicates that some recalcitrant members of our union have ignored our National Working Committee’s directive to review our operational fares by 5 per cent and are still charging the old fares”.

The release said the GPRTU views “such conduct as highly indiscipline behaviour on the part of such members and must not be tolerated”.

Management of the GPRTU has however directed that “with effect, any member of our union who is found not complying with this directive should be sanctioned including withdrawal of his loading rights and report the result to the office” the statement added.

Passengers are yet to benefit from the recent decrease in fuel prices after commercial drivers have remained adamant in reducing transport fares.

The downward adjustment of transport fares became necessary after the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced a 10 per cent reduction on fuel prices which took effect from January 1 to reflect the constant fall of crude oil prices on the international market.

By Julius Yao Petetsi    

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