Govt insensitive to Ghanaians over transport fare hike–Minority

The Minority caucus in Parliament says the expected hike in transport fares is a demonstration of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government’s “insensitivity” towards the Ghanaian people.

Transport fares, effective Saturday, are expected to go up by 15 per cent following an agreement between the government and the transport unions.

The need for increment in the fares, the transport operators argued, had become necessary as a result of the social distancing policy on the vehicles to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, amidst increase in petroleum products and spare parts. 

“We have all agreed that the indeed the drivers have helped in observing the COVID-19 protocols. It is for this reason that we have agreed to increase the fares.

“This cuts across board, taxis, trotros, long distance vehicles and cargo trucks. It takes effect from Saturday, July 11, 2020,” Deputy Transport Minister, Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover told journalists in Accra on Tuesday.

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps yesterday, Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Minority spokesperson on transport said the increment was necessitated by government’s actions.

“Not long ago the government increased the price of petroleum products [by increasing the BOST margin by 100 per cent] not because petroleum prices have gone up on the international market.

“The exchange rate has gone up and today the US dollar is trading at GH¢6. What it means is that the price of spare parts for vehicles has gone up,” he said. 

To this effect, Mr Agbodza, MP, Adaklu said “we expected government to use part of the interventions we made in the House [in terms of the coronavirus interventions] to cushion commercial drivers as well.”

Since Ghana recorded its first case of coronavirus on March 12, 2020, the government has received cumulatively GH¢16 billion from the International Monetary Fund (US$1 billion) and the Bank of Ghana (GH¢10 billion) to cushion businesses and households amidst the pandemic which has halted many businesses.

Instead of ensuring that the money reached the intended businesses and households, Mr Agbodza alleged that the government was rather sharing the money amongst its members for no just cause.

“What I have noticed in my constituency is that the NPP is sharing some forms to their party branch executives and giving them GH¢2,000 on some unknown basis.

“When the form is given to them, they fill it and the money is transferred into their mobile money accounts. If these monies cannot be used to cushion commercial drivers and genuine businesses what do you expect them to do?” he asked.

According to Kwame Agbodza, apart from absorbing the water bills and a fraction of electricity bills of the people for three months, there was nothing else to show for what the money had been used for.

“Sadly this is what we will continue to get so long as the NPP government remains in power. This country can only have some relief and see proper governance if this government is removed from office during the December 7 general elections,” he said and charged Ghanaians to endeavour to register and bring in an NDC government next year. 


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