The Okada riders, trotro drivers and spare parts dealers have coalited to participate in the upcoming June 28 Arise Ghana demonstration, citing how the current administration has made life extremely difficult for them.
On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the three aforementioned associations held a press conference to demand better working conditions in their respective fields.
Their speech called on government to urgently address some major difficulties threatening their work.
According to them, prices of fuel keep rising with no end in sight. They noted that amid these challenges, government seems adamant about the negative impact it is having on their businesses.
The coalition expressed concern about the country’s poor road network. They emphasize that the previous NDC administration, led by former President John Dramani Mahama established some mechanisms aimed at finding solutions before the current administration came in and shut everything down.
The Okada riders also addressed the press about their plight, claiming that the price of motorbikes, which were previously sold at GHS4,000 on average has now risen to GHS10,000 threatening their jobs.
The group said the issue, among others, compelled them to join the Arise Ghana demonstration, which is scheduled for June 28th this year.
They urged all Ghanaians to take part in what they called a historic step in pressuring government to address the country’s economic woes.
Find below the press statement:
JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE BY COMMERCIAL ROAD TRANSPORT OPERATORS, CONCERNED SPARE PARTS DEALERS ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL OKADA RIDERS ASSOCIATION ON THE PRESSING AND URGENT NEED TO JOIN THE HISTORIC FORTY-EIGHT HOUR ARISE GHANA DEMONSTRATION SCHEDULED FOR THE 28TH AND 29TH OF JUNE, 2022.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press, you are most welcome to this urgent press encounter on the need to throw our support for the impending demonstration of ‘Arise Ghana’ scheduled for the 28th and 29th of June, 2022 in Accra.
As indicated above, we are a coalition of several unions with interrelated activities operating within the public transport space and affected by similar concerns and expectations. For the oast few years under the tenure of Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP, life has become so unbearable for us as our businesses are suffocating collapsing largely as a result of the incompetent, insensitive and ill-conceived policies of the government.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the wake of all of this,, the government has continued to remain belligerent and refused to hear or even listen to the several legitimate and genuine concerns being raised by the unions intended to cushion our operations and prop our businesses to keep us operating at least at optimum or competitive levels. As you may be aware, our combined field of businesses offers the highest numbers of employment in this country and anything that affects our businesses affects every facet of the Ghanaian economy.
Our friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, permit us to create your indulgence on some of the pressing issues confronting our businesses today under this unwavering and insensitive government lending credence to the need for us to join Arise Ghana;
1. Escalating Frequent Fuel Price Increments; At the height of the factors working to frustrate and collapse our businesses is the rampant fuel increase every two weeks and the several nuisance taxes like the price stabilization levy, special petroleum tax and the sanitation and pollution levy. These taxes undoubtedly account for close to 40 percent of the cost of a liter of fuel in Ghana today. This level of taxation on a liter of fuel is unacceptable and unbearable and we cannot continue to manage with it as it affects our operations cost and erodes our profit margins rendering us poorer.
2. ROAD NETWORK IN GHANA TODAY: It is never in doubt that Ghana has a huge infrastructure deficit to deal with as a developing country. To this effect the previous government under John Dramani Mahama set up the Ghana Infrastructure Fund among other special initiatives target at improving Ghana’s infrastructure situation especially within the road sector. Having assumed the reigns of government and promising and dedicating a whole year to roads, Ghana’s road sector has seen little improvement. A lot of key road projects have stalled with several payment certificates not honoured. The Road Fund like other statutory funds is in arrears for a number of years now.. This cannot be attitude of a government promising to build upon and improve the road network in Ghana. The general poor state of the road network in Ghana has a direct effect on us as transport operators.
3. COST OF SPARE PARTS AND VEHICLES: Ladies and gentlemen, owing to deliberate government policies such as the bench mark values and increases in import duties and clearance fees at the ports, cost of spare parts has been at all time high. The mismanagement of the economy by the incompetent Economic Management Team led by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has rendered the Ghanaian Cedi very vulnerable leading to high levels of depreciation of the currency. The cascading effects of this depreciation is unfavorable exchange rates affecting the capital base of vehicle and spare parts dealers. Undoubtedly, this has slowed down the businesses of importers and dealers. parts dealers whose sales have nose-dived and shrunk their businesses. This is unacceptable and must not be tolerated anymore.
4. PRICE OF MOTOR BIKES; Ladies and Gentlemen, we all know that the most important asset for the Okada Riders is the motorbike. Sadly however, the cost of motor bikes keep increasing at an increasing rate. A motor bike that used to sell for GHC 4,000 is now been sold at GHC10,000. And just like the vehicle spare parts,, motorbikes spare parts have equally skyrocketed affecting the sales and servicing of the bikes which are all working against the Okada business today unlike the congenial economic environment which helped the business to thrive prior to the coming of Akufo Addo and the NPP. In the midst of the existing unemployment situation, the Okada Riders stand the risk of being pushed out of business if nothing is done about their sorry plight.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, owing to these very germane and pressing concerns, we have been compelled to call on all Ghanaians, drivers, passengers and everyone that is being affected by these conundrum of problems to join us in this demonstration to tell the government how naked, vulnerable and helpless he has rendered us.
Times are hard and the hardship does not discriminate against anyone as we are all caught up in the web monumental incompetence and crass misgovernance and mismanagement in Ghana today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Ghanaians, as a Coalition we have no option than to join the Arise Ghana demonstration and we are encouraging and calling on all of you to join as well for us to make history together in demanding for what is due us all.
“Arise, Save Ghana Now”