Our Businesses Are Collapsing – Haulage Transport Owners Cry

About 18,000 members of the Ghana Haulage Transport Owners Association are lamenting over the gradual collapse of their businesses following the implementation of the new axle load regime. The association is demanding an increase in the allowed tonnage for six-axle haulage trucks to 68 tonnes to conform to that of neighbouring countries. The new axle load regime requires trucks to carry 60 tonnes as against 68 tonnes demanded by the association. The association recently called off a 20-day old strike to protest the new law after some assurances from parliamentary select committee on roads and transport to address their concerns. Speaking to Citi Business News, the Greater Accra regional chairman of the association, Alhaji Yussif Danjuma said thousands of their members will be forced out of business soon. “It is as if the government will want to cut us from the business because we are not going to earn anything from what they want us to do, now we are paying income tax, whether you move or not, if you didn’t earn how are you going to pay,” he explained. He noted that government’s intransigent position to implement the new axle load regime will only increase corruption. According to Alhaji Danjuma, “per the LI 2180 on new Road Traffic Regulations truck drivers who are arrested carrying 8 tonnes more than the required level will a fine of GHC 30,000 from the GHC 300 Ghana cedis initially paid.” Any defaulting truck driver will be prosecuted and fined 5000 Ghana cedis or imprisoned for 90 days or your truck and goods auctioned. “Some of The drivers will not abide by these rules and the police and custom officials are human so can be corrupted,” he affirmed. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Roads and Highways has indicated the implementation of the new axle load regime is to protect the country’s roads from destruction. According to the sector Minister, Amin Sulemana the concerns of the association were taken on board in the drafting of the new legislation.