Following the increase in transport fares today by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, Moses Asaga, has accused the leadership of the GRTCC of “betrayal.”
He accused the transport unions of side-stepping their negotiation plan to announce new fares. While speaking to Accra based Citi Fm, Mr Moses Asaga said he was shocked by the announcement he had no prior knowledge of nither did he give his consent to the decision. He went on to explain that they agreed to hold a meeting on Monday to finalise their negotiations on the transport fares issue only for him to hear the announcement on air yesterday:
For me it’s a betrayal, when three parties are having a negotiation and we haven’t come to any conclusion and we have agreed that on Monday there is going to be a meeting and you suddenly jump up to go and announce new prices, especially when we know that this is even coinciding with diesel prices going down by 4 to 5 percent.”
The leadership of GRTCC have been under intense pressure from its members to increase transport fares following the passage of the Energy Sector Levy, 2015 by Parliament last December which saw pump price increase by 27 percent.
The announcement was made by the Acting General Secretary of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC), Andrews Kwesi Kwakye who said the 15 percent increase low when compared with the percentage increase in the price of petrol and other goods that affect the transport sector. Addressing the media, the Acting General Secretary of GRTCC, Mr. Kwakye said:
The increase is below the rate of inflation. Base on the analysis of the transport operators’ technical team, transport fares should have risen by 18 to 20%. The transport operators have made this decision with sensitivity to the call by our customers and organized labour for moderation in raising of prices of critical services.”
Kwesi Kwakye also cited the costs of spare parts, cost of insurance and DVLA certification as the reason for the increase. He said the new fares have been communicated to local branches of the association to avoid a possible ‘Monday confusion’ with drivers. See Transport Fares Go Up By 15% As Predicted for more details.
On the same issue, the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi, had earlier insisted that it will be unfair for transport fares to go up. Mr. Hosi had argued that,
the exchange rate at the last time when prices were revised upwards using the BoG rate was 4.2810. The same BoG rate, which is the bench mark for these discussions, is at 3.810, meaning the exchange rate itself is lower than it was at the time.”
He therefore insisted that neglecting these facts and going ahead to increase transport fares is unfair and will not be in the interest of the people.