Drivers angry at AMA over toll increment

General News of Monday, 16 March 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

Somanya Taxi Drivers

Information reaching Today indicates that commercial drivers in Accra are bracing up against the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA,) headed by Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, for taking a unilateral decision to increase the daily tolls in various lorry stations and terminals in Accra.

The drivers, Today gathered, are angry because they cannot understand why the AMA with immediate effect has increased the daily one Ghana Cedi (GHC1.00) toll to two Ghana cedis (GHC2.00) without any consultation whatsoever with the commercial drivers.

A letter dated February 27, 2015 from the AMA and signed by the Revenue Accountant for the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Narkie Osam-Sackey corroborated our story.

The letter which was headlined: “Lorry Park User Fee”: read with reference to the fees fixing resolution for the various lorry parks within the metropolis, the implementation of the new fees at the various lorry stations takes effect from January 2, 2015.

The letter further said every driver was expected to pay the lorry park fees before 10:00 A.M., each day.

It further stressed that drivers should note that acquisition of tickets on credit would not be tolerated.

Per the letter in possession of Today, the new fares are as follows: taxi or caravan drivers will now pay GHC1.00, buses (12 to 23 seater)- GHC2.00, buses (24 to 33 seater) GHC2.40 Pesewas, buses (37 and above)-GHC3.00, heavy duty vehicles GHC4.00 and all parking lots would attract GHC3.00.

Signals further picked up by the paper showed that drivers were seething with anger over the Assembly’s decision to implement the increment.

Sources at Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) told Today that the various Welfare chairmen received the letter announcing the increment just last Wednesday March 11, 2015.

This paper learnt that the AMA’s decision has created discontent amongst commercial drivers in the capital city.

And last week there was a near mayhem at the Tema Lorry Terminal, near the Ministries Area, when members of the AMA taskforce attempted collecting the new fares.

According to the drivers, the Assembly collects the daily tolls without improving on the infrastructure at the terminals.

The commercial drivers contended that they pay for the collection of rubbish at the terminals when the Assembly was supposed to be doing that.

They claimed Jakora Waste Management Company charges six hundred Ghana cedis per a lift of the garbage in the terminal.

And this is funded with the daily levy of fifty Pesewas levied market women at the terminal.

They posited that hitherto they were paying the electricity bills for the terminal but from the beginning of next month they will not pay, a member of the Welfare Committee of GPRTU at the Tema Station Terminal told this paper.

According to the Welfare committee member, it was bad for the AMA to increase tolls without consulting them.