Aug 19, 2017
Taxi drivers operating in Accra have launched a protest against Uber, the American multinational online transportation network, describing its transport operations in Ghana as illegal.
According to the Greater Accra Chapter of the Commercial Taxi Drivers Association of Ghana, the law does not permit the use of private cars for commercial taxi operations of which Uber engages in.
Uber, which has been operating in Accra since June last year, uses an online platform to connect passengers to its contracted drivers who use private cars.
But the drivers are challenging the legality of its operations.
In a petition addressed to the Transport Minister, the drivers want Uber to be called to order to ensure sanity in the transport sector.
According to the taxi drivers, Uber’s operation is in breach of the Road Traffic Act LI 2012, Regulation 141 (1)(b) 2180 which prohibits the use of private cars for commercials purposes.
The law indicates that apart from commercial hiring services, private cars cannot be used as taxis. Cars used as Taxis are required to be marked with the approved national taxi identification marks.
To streamline their operations, the drivers, in the petition, asked the Minister to direct Uber to have its vehicles commercialized within three weeks.
“We the Commercial Taxi Drivers Association would want to notify the Minister about the illegality of Uber cars, and for them to commercialize their cars within three weeks,” the petition said.
Without that, they have threatened to cease payment of taxes and road worthy fees.
“If the said conditions are not adhered to, all commercial taxi drivers will restrict from paying income taxes, commercial driving licence and also road worthy will be paid once in a year,” the petition said.
The petition was copied to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority, the Motor Transport and Traffic Department of the Police and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
Mr. Atto Annobil, Chairman of the Greater Accra taxi Drivers Association, told ADR Daily that allowing Uber driver to operate without paying taxes was unfair to the traditional taxi drivers.
“We pay the taxes, and they take the business,” he said.
He said although the presence of Uber was affecting their business, they were not against Uber’s business, adding that “we only want fairness in the system.”
According to him, if it becomes worse, the drivers would take legal action against Uber and the relevant authorities that approved its operations in the country.
Uber which launched its operations in Ghana in June last year, is increasing becoming popular in Accra where it has currently concentrated its operations on a pilot before extending to the other cities.
Ghana joined about seven other African countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya, which currently have the service.
By: Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com