The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana has warned the National Road Safety Commission to desist from implementing its new directive or face the fierce resistance from key stakeholders in the transport industry.
In a statement made available to this paper, the Executive Secretary of COPEC Ghana, Duncan Amoah, said the chamber takes a very serious notice of an announcement of a proposed programme by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC ) to slap a flat charge on all vehicle owners across the country effective 1st of July 2017.
“We are by this serving notice, that the chamber together with the Ghana Truck Operators Association, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the General Transport and Petroleum Workers Union and other notable organizations will fiercely resist any such extortionist attempts to force such insensitive charges down the throats of vehicle owners and by extension the general public without a thorough and proper review of same instead of this current proposed wholesale approach.”
It noted that per the new programme the various categories of vehicle owners are expected to cough up some additional monies whenever they are registering a new car or go for road worthy renewal from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA); resulting in charges ranging from Ghc20 for private vehicle owners, Ghc40 for commercial vehicles and taxis, motorbikes will pay Ghc10 and mini buses will pay Ghc80 whiles trucks are charged between Ghc80-200 depending on tonnage.
Mr. Amoah is of strong conviction that the upcoming new program by the National Road Safety Commission will likely place a further burden on the operations and cost of commercial transport owners who will invariably pass same unto the commuting public to pay in the not too distant future.
“While admitting abandoned vehicles on our roads pose a huge risk and challenge which sometimes result in fatal accidents, one would expect that these vehicle owners and their drivers who engage in such practices be surcharged for the towing of same, the new programme is seeking to rather punish everyone for the apparent negligence of these reckless few who abandon their vehicles anywhere anytime,” it stated.
According to the Chamber, the structure of this new extortionist policy certainly attempts to cure the symptoms, rather than the substantive issue.
The statement further revealed that with over 2 million vehicles in Ghana, currently, the new policy whose yearly collections is expected to be over and above Ghc100 million will serve as a cash cow for some faceless individuals behind NRSC and not necessarily to cure the problem reckless abandonment of vehicles in the middle of the road.
COPEC further reminded the National Road Safety Commission that it can only apply such taxes only with due approval by the parliament of Ghana.