The Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has been revealed to be shirking his responsibilities in the wake of the 20percent increment in transport fares in the country by operators.
Mohammed Tanko, Vice Chairman of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council ((GRTCC) yesterday, revealed that he and others have frequented the offices of the Minister many times, but have been unable to see him.
The agreement with the GPRTU, GRTCC and others, had required that all the stakeholders, including the minister sign unto a letter announcing transport fares, but Mr Ofori Asiamah, has not been anywhere to be found, leaving the commuters in a stressful situation.
“Our agreement is that anytime the prices of fuel go up, we have to and look for our increment but when we look for the minister, we don’t see him. We try try try, write a letter to him we don’t get so what are we going to do. So if it takes one year, we are waiting to see the minister, and we are losing in our job. We can’t do that”, Mr Tanko said.
In the absence of the Minister’s word and inputs, the transport operators, have slapped the commuting public with the 20percent increment.
“Once we looked for him and couldn’t get him, that is why we ourselves we increased it to 20% for people to accept that. We finished our job. He didn’t call us even after we announced the increment”, Mr Tanko explained.
Mr Ofori Asiamah, appears to be riding on an open division between the leadership of the Council, siding with the Chairman and Secretary, saying the increment is not welcomed, while Mr Tanko and his group, have started collecting the new fares, which has since sparked confusion at most lorry terminals across the country.
Commuters have been fighting drivers and the mates in the vehicles over the new fares by the GPRTU.
The GRTCC in a statement, indicated that transport fares are always negotiated for and on behalf of all operators by GRTCC and the GPRTU.
It thus advised Ghanaians to ignore any purported hikes in transport fares until the GPRTU and GRTCC give such indications.
But Tanko insists that the increment is necessary due to the high cost of petrol, diesel, spare parts among others.
He insisted that nothing will change the 20percent.
The Minister has always taken cover in times of trouble under his ministry, refusing to talk or address the issue.
For example, during the troubles at Ghana Airport Company over the illegal occupation of terminal 2 by McDan Aviation Company, Mr Ofori Asiamah, refused to speak on the matter.
The Managing Director of the Company, Yaw Kwakwka, was eventually sacked, but he didn’t say anything about it, although for a long time, a dismissal letter was in circulation with doubt in the minds of many as to its authenticity.
When huge sums were used to purchase Christmas trees by the Ghana Airports Company board led by Paul Adom Okyere, Mr Asiamah, again remained mute about the matter until it was swept under the carpet.
He also remained silent during the disconnection of the Kotoka International Airport by the Electricity Company of Ghana as a result of huge electricity debt.
There have been many other issues, especially at the airport, including the return of a Britain Airways plane which he did not speak to.