The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, a petroleum advocacy group in the Republic of Ghana, is calling for a drastic reduction in transport fares with immediate effect.
The call follows the directive by President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, asking commercial transport operators to forthwith, pick the normal number of passengers as before the lockdown and the accompanying social distancing restrictions.
The commercial transport operators in the West African nation, recently, announced between 15-30 percent increases in transport fares.
A statement issued by Duncan Amoah, Executive Secretary of COPEC, said: “The Chamber takes cognisance 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 percent to below GHc3.890/litre have in recent times, gone up marginally by a cumulative average of 16 percent to currently average 4.80/litre at the pumps.
“The above, thus, renders any possible argument on the part of transport operators for stay of current transport fares at this point.”
He, consequently, explained that the marginal fuel price increases should not be an excuse ostensibly to deny Ghanaian commuters the deserved reductions in transport fares since the fuel price variance before and after the lockdown period remains a distant 10 percent+ 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 Monday (today), not only to previous rates but a further 5 percent 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 percent from the pre-covid-19 lockdown period,” the statement said.
It warned that they would have no option than to go to court to have the fares reversed if the transport operators fail.