- Over use of regional lorry parks
Despite letters of authorization from the Minister for Roads and Transport, Dr, Richard Anane, and the Volta regional minister, HON. Kofi Dzamesi, that the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) be allowed an operational space at the Ho Lorry park, the Municipal Assembly has failed to do so, 'The Chronicle' can say.
The directive, which was part of government efforts to bring sanity into the sector and avoid monopoly, would have solved protracted tug-of-war between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the (PROTOA) at the park, which is still raging with no end in sight.
Currently tension is mounting between the two giant transport organizations in the regional capital, with the latest development being that some faceless people are plotting to set ablaze the operational office of PROTOA.
The misunderstanding started between the two bodies over the operational area of PROTOA at the Ho main lorry station.
Consequently, GPRTU has taken over the area through the instrumentality of the first Volta regional trustee of the GPRTU and Ho central chairman of the NPP Vance Seshi Torblu, leaving the fate of over one- hundred PROTOA drivers in the balance for months now.
The Volta regional chairman of PROTOA, the Rev. Godwin K. Amedzro expressed these concerns in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle here last Wednesday. as they find it difficult to make ends meet and pay their children's school fees.
He alleged that Mr. Torblu vowed to make things much more difficult for PROTOA at the Ho main lorry park if it insisted to operate at the same area the GPRTU is offering services to the public.
Rev. Amedzro said Volta region PROTOA officials made formal complaints through the sector Minister, Hon. Richard Anane, Volta Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi, Volta regional chairman of the NPP, Kenwood Nuworsu and the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mawutor Goh, but they could not help in resolving the crisis between them.
A letter dated 4th October, 2005 with reference number MRT/NA130/287/01 and signed by the minister of Roads and Transport, Dr. Richard Anane with a copy to the Volta regional Minister said it is the aim of the government to create a level playing field for all the road transport operators to provide safe and reliable services to the traveling public. The letter further stated that the sector Ministry is liaising with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to make all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to provide equal and easy access to lorry parks and terminals to support the private sector transport operators.
The letter from the ministry also lent its support to PROTOA to explore all avenues towards resolving the impasse and to enable it to commence its operations in the Volta regional capital as soon as possible and in line with government's objective of providing equal accessibility to transport operating facilities.
Reacting to the transport minister's letter, the Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Kofi Dzamesi has directed the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mawutor Goh to, as a matter of importance and urgency, permit the Progressive Transport Owners Association to operate at the Ho lorry park without hindrance.
This was contained in a letter written and signed by the Volta Regional coordinating Director, Steve Selormey for the regional Minister, dated 2nd August 2005 with reference number VR/A.26/SF.60/VOL.3/143.
He further directed through the letter that PROTOA should be permitted to operate at lorry parks in the respective districts.
Information available to the regional office of the Chronicle indicated that Hon. Mawutor Goh granted PROTOA a space at the Ho- Central lorry park through the assistance of a technical team from the assembly but soon after turn around and gave a different directive restraining PROTOA from operating there.
The Rev. Amedzro expressed regret that early this year, Hon. Goh officially informed PROTOA Executive to stop operating at the station as a result of alleged confrontations between them and the GPRTU.
He said just after the notice, the MCE ordered them to park and leave the station, only for them to realize that their opponents, the GPRTU had started operating at the place.
According to the PROTOA regional chairman the activities of Hon. Goh clearly indicated that he had special interest in the GPRTU. He said if indeed there were any confrontations over the matter, then the MCE having prevented them from operating at the place, could equally have prevented the GPRTU from operating at their space to show fairness.
Rev. Amedzro said they have exhausted all avenues available to resolve the issue but to no avail and therefore appealed to the President, H.E. J.A Kufour to interview in order to bring sanity into the transport sector in the region.
When the MCE, Goh was contacted on phone, he confirmed that he ordered PROTOA not to operate at the station as a result of an alleged conflict between PROTOA and the GPRTU adding that the assembly is trying to resolve the case. When contacted, Van Seshi Torblu, who gave his side of the story said he knew of the problem of space that has existed between them and PROTOA for sometime now but did not elaborate much on the issue.
He however stated that the GPRTU officials are planning to meet with the Ho Municipal assembly to adopt measures to create another lorry park in the municipality as he claimed the Ho lorry park was currently not enough for all the transport organizations to operate there.
For his part, Kenwood Nuworsu accepted having knowledge about the Ho GPRTU and PROTOA saga and assured the regional chairman of PROTOA that he would help resolve the issue.
He said similar problem existed at Abor in the Keta district and advised the DCE there to resolve the problem. The MCE's clear violation of the directives over the past six months is making travelers here to think aloud who is actually in control in the Volta region, and why no action had been taken by the two ministers all these while.