Friday, September 29, 2023

We’ll increase transport fares if gov’t refuses to reduce fuel prices – GPRTU

Transport operators say they will be forced to increase transport fares following the government’s reluctance to engage them on demands for a reduction in fuel prices.

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the country’s largest transport union, says the operations of its members have become difficult because they are currently running at losses due to the current price of fuel.

The General Secretary of GPRTU, Godfred Abulbire, in a Citi News interview said they expected the government to keep its word by ensuring a reduction in the price of fuel but fuel prices have rather shot up.

He said the situation of drivers and car owners is unfortunate and there is an urgent need for them to be given some respite.

“All the efforts we made before the reading of the budget have not yielded any result. We were told that definitely from the next pricing window fuel prices will come down but that same night, GOIL was able to come down which was an indicator that what we were requesting will be achieved. So we concluded the meeting with the hope that by the following week, GOIL will go lower. Shortly after, fuel prices started going up, and far more than we thought. It is serious. We are running at a very serious loss,” he said.

He added that the GPRTU and other transport unions will meet on Wednesday to decide on the way forward.

“Two-thirds of our total income goes into fuel. People may not be able to maintain their cars and that can lead to accidents. The best option is that we have to go back, get another meeting and have the government to understand that if the first option is what they are refusing, then our option is to increase the fares by a margin that will cushion us to at least break even. All the transport operators are holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.”

Last year, the GPRTU and other transport groups embarked on a sit-down strike demanding a reduction in fuel prices, which were inching towards the GH¢7 mark.

Fuel prices over the weekend, however, crossed the GH¢7 mark, with projections that it may add on a few more pesewas in the coming weeks.

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