#Article (Archive)

Benefits of fuel price reduction should trickle down

Mar 7, 2016, 11:08 AM

Fuel stations across the city-centre have reduced their pump prices of especially petrol and diesel since last month.

It is, therefore, expected that such gains as indicated in a recent press release by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs must be enjoyed by passengers of commercial vehicles in the country.

The release stated that after the decline of global economic price, which was US$30 as at January 2016, “the Ministry considers it necessary to reduce domestic pump prices in order to transfer the gains of falling global oil pump prices to consumers and citizens in line with global developments”.

And, indeed, today pump price for petrol, which was recently reduced to D53.77, now stands at D50, and pump price for diesel is now D45.

What remains now is for commercial vehicle drivers to do the same or, better still, to refrain from cutting short distances for which official transport fares have been declared months or years back.

It is clear that most commercial vehicle drivers are flouting the rules, as they have developed and implemented some negative game play and attitudes in their operations of late.

We are actually referring to the fact that distances of some of the main routes across the Greater Banjul Area, for which agreed amount of fares have been officially spelt out or declared, are today shortened by commercial vehicle drivers, thereby creating a situation wherein passengers would have to pay twice the fare for a distance they would normally pay for once.

For instance, distances such as Westfield to Banjul, Westfield to Sabena Junction, and Westfield or Serrekunda Market to Tabokoto for which passengers have to pay D10 or D8.00 have now been shortened by almost half by commercial vehicle drivers, who deliberately refuse to ply the full length of these routes for D10 or D8.00 anymore.

Nowadays, passengers or travellers are forced to pay twice the official fare to cover these distances, because drivers have deliberately refused to ply the full length of the routes for D8 or D10.

Now it would cause everyone including the layman to pay D16.00 or walk half the distance to cover places like Westfield to Sabena Junction.

We are, therefore, bringing this unfair situation to the attention of the government authorities, as this scenario is tantamount to creating problems for the smooth flow of transport and business in the country.

Something should really be done, more so that pump prices of fuel have been reduced by some substantial percentages, which should reflect in commercial vehicle fares or distances covered.

“I like honesty and fair play’’
Marcus Garvey