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ajbabe
19th January 2012, 05:50 PM
Residents, traders, commercial drivers, as well as business operators in the Volta region have expressed worry about the prevailing harsh economic conditions.

A cross-section of residents told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE that many businesses have been recording low sales since Christmas.

Gifty Dovor, a yam seller who doubles as a hair dresser, noted that “people are not buying items.”

A retailer of rice, oil and provisions, Peace Atta noted that “economy menyo!”to wit “the economy is bad, stressing that patronage of her items has not been encouraging in past few weeks.

A lot of people, who shared similar sentiments, attributed the situation to the recent increase in transportation fares.

They added the increment in school fees and learning materials for their school children had worsened the situation.

Civil servants said their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) had been helpful.

Market women said although the prices of pepper, tomatoes, onions are cheap, patronage has declined. However, prices of roots and tubers like cassava, yam and plantain have also increased.

The prices of dried, smoked or fresh fish have increased while prices of rice canned foods and cooking oils vary from shop to shop.

Prices of items at shops, which have old stocks, have not changed while those who have new supplies have increased prices.

The paper visited the Metro Mass Transport Company, Ghana Private Road Transport Union GPRTU and the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) to access the situation.

At MMT, the drivers had increased the fare from Ho to Accra from GH˘4.50 to GH˘5.00.

The fare from Ho to Kumasi was increased from GH˘8.50 to GH˘9.50, Ho to Aflao (GH˘2.50 to GH˘3.00) and Ho to Hohoe from GH˘2.70 to GH˘3.20.

For other private transport operators, GPRTU, PROTOA and Cooperative, transportation fares from Ho to Accra which ranged between GH˘6.00 and GH˘6.50 had been increased to between GH˘7.00 and GH˘8.00 while that from Ho to Hohoe had been increased from GH˘3.00 to GH˘4.00.

The fare charged by drivers from Ho to Kumasi, which ranged from GH˘10.00 and GH˘13.00, was increased to between GH˘11.00 and GH˘14.00.

Transportation fares within Ho and neighbouring towns and villages which ranged from GH˘0.45p to GH˘0.70p now ranges from GH˘0.50p to GH˘1.00.

Tracy Rita Amegbo noted that the increases in transportation fares had affected her family budget.

Ironically, most of the drivers noted that they passed the cost of the fuel onto the passengers.

One of them, Sephas Ameho, said there have been increases in the prices of some spare parts.

Similar views were shared by residents in other parts of the region.

They revealed that they were unable to travel to the city centres to sell their farm produce because of the current fares charged by drivers.