The plight of commercial vehicle drivers continues to worsen in this COVID-19 era as fuel prices have shot up from GH¢4.65 per litre to GH¢4.820 per litre at various pumps, representing some 3.8 per cent.
Drivers over the week called on the government to as a matter of urgency come to their aid by reducing the cost of fuel for them to keep adhering to the social distancing protocol in a bid to fight the deadly coronavirus else they would increase transportation fares to save them from the hardship.
Speaking on this issue with GhanaWeb, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah has advised the government to give an incentive package to commercial vehicle drivers to alleviate their burden while adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
According to him, “The Chamber believes implementing a subsidization scheme on petroleum products specifically targeting the commercial drivers 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”.
Touching on the increase in fuel prices, Mr. Amoah noted that the government can introduce a chit or a coupon system for public transport operators to make use at various fuel stations as a subsidy to the costs they incur while observing the social distancing protocol.
“COPEC also recommends that a compensation scheme can be instituted by the government as a way of easing the cost burden on the drivers. In this scheme, commercial drivers can be given handouts in the form of coupons which can be used to purchase a few litres of fuel. With this, commercial drivers will be taking some form of compensation in exchange of maintaining social distancing in their vehicles and maintaining fares at a constant for the time being”.
Duncan Amoah also called on the Central Bank to put in place some measures to guarantee fixed fx rates for petroleum importers in order to curtail the harsh effects the depreciation of the local currency has on fuel prices which equally affects consumers.