Commercial drivers within the Cape Coast Metropolis are awaiting directives from the Coalition of Private Road Transport Operators concerning their operations.
The leadership of the transport unions threatened a strike, beginning Monday, November 29, if the government failed to reduce the taxes on petroleum products.
The strike had been withheld, following an engagement with the Transport Minister and other relevant stakeholders.
Mr. Ahmed Sulleman, Station Master at the Tantri lorry station in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said they were awaiting a response from the leadership to embark on the strike.
“We are patiently waiting to hear the outcome of the discussions between the National Board, the Minister for Transport and the other stakeholders before a conclusive decision would be taken by the leaders regarding the strike”
He said the rampant increase in fuel prices had affected every commodity in the country, thus the current hardship among the populace.
“Drivers and commuters create unnecessary misunderstanding in vehicles resulting in road accidents among others due to increase in fares”, he noted.
When the GNA visited the Kotokuraba station, drivers expressed dissatisfaction with the government for increasing fuel prices instead of putting measures in place to promote the businesses.
Some drivers who were in a queue awaiting their turn, revealed they start their trade as early as 06:00 hours but due to the high cost of fuel, they sometimes go home with nothing.
“People have refused to pick taxis because of our fares and we are the breadwinners of our families, how do we survive” they fumed.
On the plight of drivers, Mr Kweku Abbrom, a driver, stated that things had become difficult as many commuters now prefer tricycles, and this had affected their daily wages and survival.
“Passengers now board “Pragyia” since their fares are cheap and affordable”, he said.
He called on the government to urgently listen to the plight of drivers and relieve them of the levies charged on petroleum.
This he noted would enable them to reduce fares to suit both drivers and commuters in enhancing their businesses in the country.
Papa Kow, a tricycle rider told the GNA at Kingsway Area, that though jobs were limited in the country, the youth were trying to irk a living to make ends meet by riding the tricycle.
He appealed to the government to look at legalizing the business to boost the economy and reduce the rate of unemployment.
Papa Kow asked that all relevant stakeholders be engaged on the new directives of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) restricting a lot of the youth from the business since they were suffering.
The coalition of private transport operators consists of GPRTU, Association of Tipper Truck Drivers, Harbour Transport Owners, Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, and Ghana Committed Drivers Association.
The rest are the Concerned Drivers Association, Digital Drivers, Commercial motorbike riders, popularly referred to as ‘Okada’, and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers.