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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Columnist: Maxwell Maundy

Investigate and correct excessive transport fare increment on Amasaman to Madina route

Investigate and correct the transport fares as a matter of urgency Investigate and correct the transport fares as a matter of urgency

I wish to call on the national executives of the GPRTU to take urgent steps to investigate and rectify an excessive transport fare increment from Amasaman to Madina, which has resulted in an abnormal fare on the route since the last fare increment in July last year.

I wrote about the abnormalities that characterize the application of transport fare increment in the country, which was published on GhanaWeb on Friday 19th March 2021 with the caption:
GPRTU: National crisis in the application of the percentage of transport fare increment nationwide.

Please refer to the publication for details of the abnormal fare increment that occurred on Amasaman to Madina route during the last increment in July 2020, which has resulted in the current fare exceeding Gh¢ 5. Had it not been the excessive increment last year, the new Amasaman to Madina fare would be Gh¢ 4.70 or at most Gh¢ 4.80, and not Gh¢ 5.20

The released letter authorizing the current fare increment has attached spreadsheet of the old fares and the supposed new fares as signed by Mr Godfred Abulbire (General Secretary – GPRTU of TUC) and Mr Emmanuel Ohene Yeboah (General Secreatary - GRTCC). I find the attachment as shared widely on social media helpful.

But has it always been done like this? Surprisingly, even in the face of the spreadsheet showing the approved new fares, some local GPRTU's have flouted it and implemented higher than the approved fare.

Are there dedicated national phone numbers for commuters to call if their local GPRTU implement higher than approved fare increment, so that enforcement action can be initiated from national for the anomaly to be investigated and rectified? Since this is a national problem which sadly affects only the masses, would it not have been useful for government through the Ministry of Transport or the GPRTU to assign a dedicated office with phone numbers for this purpose?

Transport fares in the country are abnormally high because there have not been a holistic approach and adherence to the application of the approved fare increment over the years, resulting in local GPRTUs, drivers and their mates implementing their own increments, oftentimes higher than the approved.

Prior to the fare increment in July 2020, Amasaman to Madina fare was Gh¢ 3.60 whilst Pokuase to Madina was Gh¢ 3.40, a difference of Gh¢ 0.20, but as the abnormality on the Amasaman fare deepens, the difference now stands at Gh¢ 0.70 (Pokuase to Madina is currently Gh¢ 4.50).

Prior to the fare increment in July 2020, Amasaman to 37 fare was higher than Amasaman to Madina fare. Insanely to say, it been the reverse in the aftermath of the July 2020 increment. Currently, Amasaman to 37 is Gh¢ 5. So the question is what happened? Has the distance from Amasaman to Madina become longer than that of Amasaman to 37?

The anomaly stems from the fact that during the last increment in July 2020, Amasaman to Madina fare was increased by nearly twice the approved increment (Gh¢ 0.90 instead of Gh¢ 0.54). Even per the new published fares, Amasaman to 37 ought to be Gh¢ 4.90 and not Gh¢ 5.

Another abnormality on the Amasaman/Pokuase/Madina route is the fact that from Madina Station, Pokuase and Amasaman passengers are loaded together. But insanely, those going to Pokuase have to pay same fare as those going to Amasaman. This didn't really matter when the difference in fares between the two destinations was only Gh¢ 0.20, but now it matters because the difference is high.

Year in year out, every time there is fare increment, commuters all over the country complain about implementation. Teiman-Borga-Town to Adenta was previously Gh¢ 2.50 but now Gh¢ 3 (an increment of Gh¢ 0.50). However, Teiman-Borga-Town to Madina was previously Gh¢ 3, and now Gh¢ 3.40 (an increment of Gh¢ 0.40).

How could 13% of 2.50 amount to 0.50, whilst 13% of 3 amount to 0.40? Per the published approved increment, the new fare for Teiman-Borga-Town to Adenta shoud be Gh¢ 2.80 and not the Gh¢ 3 being charged. Clearly, Teiman-Borga-Town to Adenta (a shorter distance on the same route) has been increased by Gh¢ 0.50 instead of Gh¢ 0.30 (almost twice the approved increment).

This abnormality accounts for the extremely too high transport fares all over the country, especially over short distances, such as 37 to Accra and Amasaman to Pokuase.

So many questions have been raging in my head about the abnormality in the implementation of transport fare increment in this country. I have had sleepless nights over the abnormality; especially on the Amasaman to Madina route as it affects me personally. I have written extensively about it as a result.

Sadly to say, the issue of abnormal transport fares is a bother only to the masses (the electorates). Those elected into power (the political class) are not affected by it. So there is not the political will to address the problem effectively. Who cares about the masses (the electorates)?

This country is seriously sick and needs healing, especially for the masses – the commoner! Ghana seriously needs fixing. Until we get the right leadership to begin the process of healing and fixing this country, life would be a real struggle to the electorates – the masses! There is no order in the country. Even the Judiciary (Courts) has no order, and is plagued with corruption, and at the beck and call of those with power and money.

My experience with my land case, and how criminal and fraudulent land gang Alrotech Company Limited are making a folly out of our Court system, and making life hell for the Chiefs, Elders, landowners and people of Bortianor, is really sickening.

Our Court system (Judiciary) is really a joke and a comedy of errors! The Accra High Court has been turned into a laughing stock by the operatives of fraudulent Alrotech Company and their lawyers. An absolute madness and insanity beyond human comprehension! Complete Animal Farm!

If you belong to the political class, you can bulldoze your way through and trample on the ordinary without a care in the world, as Sammy Wiafe or Addo Wiafe (who boasts himself as "from the office of the President") is doing on my land at Bortianor (West Hills).

Politics empowers Addo Wiafe (Sammy Wiafe) to team up with operatives of fraudulent Alrotech Company to forcefully take possession of people's land and sell to the rich and powerful, as they are doing on my land even as a Court injunction prohibit thems. May God save us in this country!