All members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), will from today, Tuesday, November 23, 2021, wear red armbands as a protest signal to alert the government of its intended strike on Monday, November 29, 2021.
Head of Communications for GPRTU, Abass Imoro, says the action is to compel the government to reduce the price of a litre of fuel by GHS 1.50.Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, Mr. Imoro said members of his union will embark on an indefinite strike if the government fails to address their demands by Sunday.
“Drivers of commercial cars, tipper trucks, articulators, and cargo trucks should wear red bands because we are fighting. So come Sunday, if our problem is not resolved, we have no option than to send the signal that from Monday, no commercial vehicle will be working. In any case, if you are outside Accra, it is up to you to decide on when you return before we begin the strike.”
The recent increase in fuel prices has become a major issue of concern to many transport owners, who are forced to buy fuel at a higher price but unable to arbitrarily charge passengers extra fares.In Ghana, this has led to petrol, for example, reaching as high as GHS 6.9 per litre which have led to threats to increase transport fares.
The Coalition of Private Transport Operators last week threatened to embark on a strike over the many taxes on petroleum products, which they blame for the high fuel prices, but the action was called off after a meeting with the government.
COPEC angered by hikes
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), is disappointed that the government did not propose any policy in the 2022 budget statement to address the continuous hikes in fuel prices.
COPEC’s grievance comes on the back of another increment in the price of fuel from GH¢6.90 per litre to GH¢6.99 per litre.
Speaking to Citi News, Executive Secretary of the Chamber, Duncan Amoah, said he hopes the situation does not escalate before the year ends.According to him, the Ministry of Energy must make a case to the President for other taxes on fuel to be removed to curb the constant increase of the price.
“We don’t know what will happen but we will keep hoping that before the end of the year, maybe the Ministry of Energy will be able to make a concrete case to the President again just as the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy has been zeroed for other taxes to also be zeroed.”
Mr. Duncan Amoah had reiterated calls for the government to review the taxes imposed on petroleum products in the country.According to him, taxes are a major driving factor behind the rising cost of fuel in the country.
He said, although the exchange rate also plays a role in the development, there isn’t a strong argument to hold it responsible as the major cause.
“Taxes definitely are driving our prices upwards, The forex is not helping much. [The dollar was stronger many years ago] but, we didn’t get to GH¢ 6.5 per litre. The taxes are too strong in relation to the upward increase in prices,” he said.
“With the recent increment [in prices] we are talking about from GHS 6.38 to GHS 6.52… You can imagine what this alone does to your pocket anytime you go to the pump. On every gallon, Ghanaians could have saved GH¢2.07 pesewas,” he added.