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Veep assures transport unions of support.
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General News of Saturday, 15 August 2009

Source: GNA

Veep assures transport unions of support.

Accra, Aug. 15, GNA - Vice President John Mahama has assured transport operators that government is resolved not to enforce any polices that would negatively affect the sector.

He said government, rather, intends to partner transport operators in introducing prudent measures that would make the sector more responsive by reducing motor accidents and improving reliability of public transport service in the country.

Interacting with the national leadership of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) at the Castle, Osu, on Friday, Vice President Mahama assured them that government does not intend to introduce any untoward measures that will harm their businesses. The Vice President was responding to concerns raised by the GPRTU over a proposal to operate 'Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS)' in the country by the sector Ministry.

The BRTS allows for the reservation of one lane to high occupancy commercial vehicles on intra-city roads with the intention of encouraging higher patronage of these buses.

However, the GPRTU is worried that the implementation of such a policy without a complementary infrastructure as obtained in the developed world could hurt their businesses.

"We envisaged that the sources of livelihood of our members would be in jeopardy and its effect on the individual and families of our members cannot be underestimated", the union contended. Vice President Mahama said "no decision" has as yet been taken on the matter, assuring them that any such move will take their supreme interest into account.

He said government will not sacrifice any business in the pursuit of its programmes, explaining that whatever decision that was arrived at would take into account the genuine concerns of the GPRTU and other stakeholders.

Responding to a request by the association for the government to resume a policy started by the previous NDC regime under which the state guarantees loans for the purchase of new fleets of vehicle for transport unions, Vice President said the proposal will be considered. However, the government was unable to do so immediately because it was saddled with so much debt and other commitments.

A spokesperson for the union, Mr Alamidu Saddique, was of the view that the re-introduction of such a package can help lower lorry fares, compared to the high charges members pay to repay loans acquired for the purchase of such vehicles. 15 Aug. 09

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