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27.05.2006 General News

Anane tells transport unions to bury differences

By GNA

Accra, May 27, GNA - Stakeholders in the transport services industry have been challenged to bury all differences and make conscious efforts towards unity to enhance their service delivery. "It is common knowledge that a divided front in any venture is detrimental to success.

All of us must bury the hatchet and forget about our past differences so that we can work to attain the objective of the transport sector." Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Transportation, gave the advice at a dinner held for leaders of various transport unions in Accra on Friday following the resolution of differences among the unions. In attendance were executive members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Progressive Transport Owners' Association (PROTOA), Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC), Federation of Transport Unions, among others.

Dr Anane noted that road transport played a vital role in the nation's socio-economic development accounting for between 94 per cent and 97 per cent of passenger and freight traffic. He said his ministry had therefore committed its self to provide an integrated, well managed and sustainable road transport infrastructure as well as service of international standards. "These efforts require very disciplined and vibrant operations and operators with in the sub-sector," he said. Dr Anane observed that although a lot had been achieved in dealing with road safety problems through the provision of road infrastructure, the recent spate of road accidents continued to be a matter of concern. "A significant proportion of causative factors of theses accidents is attributed to driver attitude when on the road," he noted. According to him while most of vehicles were old others also lacked maintenance adding that some used defective and imitated vehicle parts.

Dr Anane said to curtail those problems, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority would this year expand its inspectorate function and involve the private sector in the roadworthiness certification. He said by the end of June, this year, the police would be empowered through the New Road Traffic Act to make on-the-spot fines and urged drivers to cooperate with them. Dr Anane said government had reached "very far in collaboration" with private sector stakeholders to facilitate the supply of newer fleets of vehicles with manageable terms. He urged them to keep their various terminals clean to prevent the outbreak of diseases associated with unsanitary conditions.

Mr Edward A. Kwarteng, Transport Advisor, Ministry of Transportation (MOT), in a welcoming address said for past one-and-a-half years, there had been complaints and conflicts among various unions signifying that all was not well with the various unions. He said MOT therefore initiated moves to ensure reconciliation among the various groups thereby enhancing their services. This it had achieved through the cooperation of the various union leaders, he said. Mr Stephen Okudzeto, General Secretary, GPRTU, said the union had rescinded its decision to disassociate its self from GRTCC. He said he was happy that a Lorry Fare Committee was going to be established fix fares whenever petroleum prices increased adding this would curtail chaos and confusion among drivers and passengers.

Mr Okudzeto appealed to government to establish more lorry parks across the country in order to curtail most conflicts among the various unions. Nana Atekowsa Danso Agyeman, First vice president, PROTOA, expressed delight over the resolution of the tussle between unions and called for unity and honesty among them. Mr Clifford Aboagye, Chairman, National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), said the resolution of the tussle between the unions would reduce the burden of the commission of punishing recalcitrant drivers.

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