Commuters forced to pay higher than approved transport fares

Commuters across the country have been forced to pay five percent higher in transport fares, than the approved levels announced by authorities.

The Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) and the Ghana Private Transport Union (GPRTU) over the weekend announced a 15% adjustment in transport fares beginning Monday, to match the over 20% hike in prices of petroleum products which also took effect today.

The transport operators instructed commercial drivers to adhere strictly to the published fares to avoid confrontation with passengers at various terminals.

But it appears the orders have been flouted as some commercial drivers insist they cannot work with the 15% upward adjustment in fares when fuel prices have gone up by over 20 per cent.

In Accra, apart from the usual commotion that characterises new fares, some drivers have told Joy News that business is slow today because of the fuel price hikes.

From the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi, Luv FM’s Prince Appiah reports, the situation has been compounded by the refusal of passengers to accept the five pesewa coin as change.

Correspondent Rafiq Salam reports from Wa in the Upper West regional that, some residents complained they will not be able to keep up with the fuel price.

According to Rafiq, the residents say their already deteriorating living condition, is set to worsen with the increments.

In another development, fishermen in the Central region are said to be unhappy about the increase in the price of premix fuel.

They say cost of doing business would further increase since they would have to spend more on fuel to power their boats.

Blaming the Cedi
However, Public Relations Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has blamed the increases in fuel hikes on the fall in the value of the country’s currency, the Ghana cedi as well as removal of subsidies from the products despite decreases in international crude oil prices.

Yaro Kasambata said since the government is no longer subsidizing the price of petroleum products, consumers would have to pay the full cost.

He explained that the NPA determines the timing for an increment or otherwise based on the government decision to intervene.

‘The government has the greater picture at any time and if tomorrow, it feels strongly that it needs to give a pesewa relief on each and every individual and they have the money to pay, we, as an Authority or even the industry will not say no to it,’ he stated on the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.

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