The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has wailed over the increase of fuel prices.COPEC revealed in a statement that fuel prices have escalate from GHS4.65 to GHS4.820 per litre.
This increment in the BOST Margin by Cabinet from 3 pesewas to 6 pesewas for a litre of petroleum product led to the increase in fuel at the pumps. This increment was declared by the National Petroleum Authority on May 29.
Though there has been a rise in fuel prices, commercial transport operators were asked to still reduce the number of passengers they take so as to ensure social distancing in cars as a way to help fight COVID-19.
Although the transport operators complied by this directive, they have recently called on government to make changes to the directive or permit them to increase transport fares.
According to COPEC, the income of these drivers has dropped between 25% to 40% in recent times,this was made in a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah
“The social distancing coupled with recent increases in fuel prices at the pumps by as much as over
16% due largely to international market price increases and the depreciation of the local
currency seems to have brought a lot of hardships on these public transport operators and other petroleum consumers across the country,”
He went ahead to adding that “The commercial and public transport operators, further indicate there’s been a further increase in the cost of spare parts due to the cedi’s depreciation and as such, general increases in their input costs while their revenues have considerably dipped due to the enforcement of the social distancing directive.”
Moving forward Duncan Amoah urged the government to put in place measures to help these commercial drivers,he recommended in a statement one way the government could help these drivers in a statement “introduction of a chit or coupon subsidy program strictly for commercial transport operators”.
“The Central Government can per this, introduce a chit or a coupon system to be administered by the various transport unions for their memberships such that the various fuel stations will be reimbursed the difference between the agreed subsidy or percentage reduction on the fuel purchases by these public transport operators,”
Again COPEC recommended a down payment should be made to the registered public transport operators unions to cushion their fuel purchases during this period of social distancing in vehicles.
Mr.Amoah went ahead saying that when these measures he suggested above is put in place it will help ease financial burden on commercial drivers. It “will be a good incentive for them to continue adhering to the social distancing protocols whiles curtailing the harsh effects of these significant increases in transport fares on the general commuting public”.