Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, COPEC, has urged stakeholders in the transport industry to avoid increasing transport fares as the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on every sector of Ghana’s economy.
The Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, said in the past few months, fuel prices have dropped at the pumps but transport fares were not reduced to reflect the fall in prices.
He is, therefore, recommending that stakeholders in the transport industry use the savings they made to offset any cost they are incurring at the moment.
Members of the National Concern Drivers Association of Ghana asked the government to reduce fuel prices as there has been a continuous fall in prices of crude oil on the international market.
According to the Association, they have reduced the number of passengers each car carries per trip to support the social distancing directives, therefore if fuel prices are not reduced at the pumps, they will be compelled to increase transport fares.
“We the National Concern Drivers Association would like to commend the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his government for their tremendous effort in fighting the Coronavirus. As an Association, we pledge our support to the President’s directives of reducing the number of passengers in our Trotro and taxis,” Paa Willie, the National Chairman of the Drivers Association, said in a statement.
“We have noticed the declining prices of crude oil on the international market which should have led to a significant drop in the pump prices of fuel by now. We call on the President to ensure an immediate and drastic reduction in fuel prices at the pump,” the statement explained.
“We are giving government up to the end of this week, thus from now to 27th of April to reduce fuel prices or we will increase our fares,” it added.
COPEC’s reaction to the drivers’ demands
Reacting to this, Mr. Duncan Amoah of COPEC in an interview said: “We would expect that whatever reductions on prices of crude oil, the transport operators would use that to offset the social distancing cost and not increase transport fares. We are quite certain we will be having a negotiation with them shortly.”
“I have heard some of them saying they wouldn’t increase at all and we want to say kudos to them but those who are increasing, please do not inconvenient the public at this time because everybody is hard-pressed, you are getting some savings on the fuel which has dropped from the 5.6 region to 5.2 currently. Some are even selling for 3.9 and so it means you are making some significant savings on your fuel but we would expect that you don’t inconvenient Ghanaians at this point by increasing transport fares,” he said.