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23.02.2005 Regional News

REGSEC urged to prosecute drivers charging arbitrary fares

By GNA

Kumasi, Feb. 23, GNA - A suggestion has been made to the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to put in place measures to arrest and prosecute drivers who charge arbitrary fares beyond the 30 percent approved increase by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU). Mr Opoku-Agyemang Prempeh, Managing Director of Lakayana Company, a business consortium, said such a measure was crucial as it would deter other drivers and those already charging such illegal fares from doing so.

Mr Prempeh was giving his impressions on the deregulation policy of the government on petroleum products and the recently announced new transport fares, in Kumasi with the GNA on Tuesday.

He noted that in spite of the announcement that fares had been increased by 30 percent, some recalcitrant drivers still deliberately ignored the directive and resorted to charging fares up to 50 percent. The behaviour of the drivers he said stemmed from the lack of knowledge about what actually accounted for the 50 percent increase in crude oil price, released by Government.

"They wrongly assume that since crude oil price went up by 50 percent, it stands to reason that lorry fares too should shoot up by 50 percent", Mr Prempeh observed.

Mr Prempeh said to help correct the wrong notion, it was important that the Government and leadership of the various transport unions mounted a programme to educate drivers about the inputs that go into pricing of crude oil and the formula used in arriving at the 30 percent increase in respect of fares.

He expressed the fear that unless drivers were persuaded through education to appreciate and abide by the approved new fares there could be a spill over to other sectors of the economy thereby undermining Government efforts at poverty reduction.

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