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17.03.2009 Regional News

Freko management explains controversy… Over payment of 50Gp service charge at Kejetia Terminal

By Sebastian Freiku, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE MANAGEMENT of Freko FD Enterprise, managers of the Kumasi Kejetia Bus Terminal since June 2002, has refuted media reports that tension is brewing at the terminal, over the payment of 'table fees' by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).

It has also denied reports that there had been occasional sporadic confrontations and skirmishes between the Co-operative Transport Union (CTU) and the GPRTU, the two major transport unions operating at the terminal.

Mrs. Freda Darko Manu said the seeming misunderstanding has to do with the table fee of Gp50 per day, by the 157 loading points (stations) operated by the GPRTU at the terminal.

She explained that besides the daily toll fee of Gp50 for all buses, and Gp30 for taxis which enter the terminal, the company had introduced a daily table fee of Gp50 as service charge, payable by all 12 transport unions at the place.

According to her, the GPRTU like other transport unions, upon agreement has been paying this service charge since 2003, until recently.

She said the rationale behind the introduction of the table fee, which had been gazetted by the Kumasi Metropolitan Asembly (KMA), was to enable the managers of the terminal maintain the facility, provide security services, and tidy up the garbage created by the executives of the unions who operate secretariats at every station.

By the very existence of the station executives, the transport unions are in business at the terminal, and somebody, in this case Freko FD, would have to clear the waste generated there, and explained that this was quite different from the toll fees paid by individual drivers, in respect of their vehicles, and irrespective of the transport union they are affiliated to.

The Facility Manager said while the station executives of the GPRTU made an average of GH¢4,500 daily at the terminal, they did not want to contribute a pesewa towards the maintenance of the facility, only to turn round and accuse the company of mismanagement, and thus gain grounds to takeover management of the facility.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Darko-Manu has clarified the wrong impression that Freko FD entered into contractual agreement to run the terminal, with the KMA under Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah's administration, explaining that the construction of the project started as far back as 1996, through to January 2001 when the tender was processed for the project to be inaugurated in 2002.

She explained that the processes were completed long before Kofi Jumah assumed office as the KMA boss. She frowned on the politicisation of the activities of the transport unions at the terminal, and said the company had nothing to do with whether the CPU and the GPRTU identified themselves with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), respectively or not.

She said the interest of Freko FD Enterprise, which has the mandate to manage the facility, is to optimise the use of the facility, through properly organised vehicle operations and facility management, use efficient management mechanisms to maximise revenue generation, and protection of the facility and maintain the facility in a good state of repair at all times, in line with the terms of agreement.

Mrs. Darko Manu has, however, cautioned that the company legally won the bid to run the facility.