Transport operators will hold critical meeting on Monday over fuel price adjustment

The management of the various commercial transport unions will, on Monday, January 24, 2022, deliberate on the adjustments to transport tariffs.

The meeting was necessitated by rising fuel prices and the government’s inability to remove some taxes on petroleum products, Abass Imoro, Communications Officer, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) said in an interview.

He said fuel price hikes had weighed on their businesses, adding that the meeting would allow transport operators to make a collective decision on the way forward.

The outcome of the meeting would be forwarded to the Ministry of Transport for further action.

“We don’t want a situation where every association comes up with a number. There has been no definite decision yet. We have already asked the government to remove certain taxes. We will decide in the meeting whether or not we should insist on it or move the goal post,” he said.

The Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana (C-DAG) has suspended plans to increase transport fares by 40% as previously announced.

The proposed increase did not win the support of other commercial transport unions, with the GPRTU dissenting from the decision.

The planned increase, the C-DAG said, was necessitated by the rising cost of fuel, spare parts and lubricants, rising vehicle costs and the high cost of living.

The Coalition of Private Road Transport Operators last month launched a nationwide sit-down strike to express their dissatisfaction with high fuel prices, which they said were severely affecting their operations.

They demanded that the government abolish certain taxes on petroleum products, including the price stabilization and recovery tax, the energy debt recovery tax and the fuel marking margin to ease the burden on consumers.

Mr Imoro said that a month after the industrial action, the situation had not changed.

“The government assured us that fuel prices would be reduced as we move forward, but that hasn’t happened,” he said.

A GNA assessment indicates that as of Monday, January 17, 2022, some Petroleum Marketing Companies (OMCs) had raised gasoline prices from 6.8¢ per liter to 6.9¢ per liter as diesel was sold 7¢ per litre.

Some analysts have predicted that fuel prices could climb up to 3.7 pesewas per liter before the end of January 2022, due to the continued rise in crude oil prices in the international market.

In its review of the first pricing window in January, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) projected that fuel prices would increase between 0.30 and 0.40¢ per liter in the 2nd January pricing window.

“Imminent price increases may force some OMCs to sell gasoline and diesel for the first time at 7.00¢ per liter at the pump,” the IES said in a statement last week.

Eleanor C. William