Gordon Asare-Bediako Writes: Overcoming the biting fuel & transport cost: Let’s work from home again

Gordon Asare-Bediako Writes: Overcoming the biting fuel & transport cost: Let’s work from home again

It is no longer a subject of doubt that Ghanaians, just like everywhere across the globe are going through economic turbulence and we have to do everything humanly possible to ameliorate the effects on homes.

The economy is so challenged and in dire need of redemption, that even the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his latest public address to the Nation, admitted same, in no equivocal terms, hitting it spot on.

The value of the Ghanaian Cedi has taken serious hits from other foreign currencies on the markets, chief amongst them, the dollar, which seeks daily to outpace the cedi as it pants for breath trying to catch up.

Thus, prices for both imported and local goods and services, have seen astronomical increases. The financial quagmire has rendered People in such difficulty, they simply are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

As if these weren’t enough to asphyxiate Ghanaians, the spontaneity in fuel prices hikes, seems to be the cherry on the cake. Fuel prices at the pump per liter has never seen such quantum jump all within the spate of three months.

With the Christmas season looming in the corner, and with less than sixty days to end the year, Ghanaians have been living in to such fear and panic due to the economic woes and financial disaster.

Almost everyone found on the streets carries a mantra that suggests dispair and discontent.

These harsh economic conditions are the resultant effects of hikes in petroleum prices amongst others. For the first time in Ghana, super(petrol) sells at almost GHC18, whereas diesel has gone up to GHC23 per liter respectively.

Private vehicle owners are dumbfounded, Commercial drivers are angry and perplexed , passengers and consumers are suffering and find it extremely disconcerting, since they are the hardest hit in these times of increased prices of petroleum products.

It is important, at this juncture, to initiate some measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, and help create a breathing space in this shaky economy that threatens to squeeze the very life out of Ghanaians.

We can look at a way to reduce people’s dependence on fuel.

It will be trite learning and surely advance a positive cause if the President should again, announce a policy he instituted when COVID-19 was in town- That People be made to work from home. It was done before and it can be done now. Some workers must be made to work from home.

While this call is being made, workers should also not abuse it as a reduction in productivity would bring cataclysmic consequences for the economy. Proper shift systems should be put in place for this to be effective.

These could be measures done in austerity, that with the right attitude to work, can afford us to face this harsh economic climate.

The government should collaborate with employers to announce this policy which would let workers work from their homes since they cannot afford high transportation costs to and fro their work places.

Whilst this may surely present some crisis to commercial drivers whose daily bread might suffer significant loss in returns, the government could by this revive the ayalolo and BrT bus systems more efficiently and ensure that there’s adequate competition in the transportation space.

This if effective could even help private car owners to park their vehicles and join public transport ones it’s effective.

Public car parks, or other such areas must be revived with measures to ensure that the influx of cars to certain areas in town that has the propensity to cause traffic is prevented. Drivers of such vehicles especially private car owners will be discouraged to drive beyond certain city or business areas which will be made accessible only by the public or government buses.

With the MTTD and DVLA collaboration, strict road safety measures must be invoked to protect cyclist and motorcycles so that if that can be preferred by others, we can have more people ride their bikes to and fro their work or school.

As the government pledged to reduce their expenditure at the presidency so do we believe that these measures will also help the average Ghanaians reduce our own expenditure too. Some level of sacrifices got to be made if we are to come out of this situation unscathed and alive.

There is hope that after the storm the sun shall shine again and desperate situations require desperate measures.

While working from home, don’t forget to start a backyard garden.


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