By Louise Jobe
Information reaching this medium has it that as a result the new fare increment on Monday 18th December 2017, five drivers were arrested but two have been remanded at the Mile Two Central Prisons. This happened on Wednesday 20th December 2017. When contacted, the Acting President of the Drivers’ Union Mr. Omar Ceesay, confirmed the arrest of the five drivers and the remanding of the other two at mile two prisons.
According to the Acting President of the Union, when the previous announcement was made on the reduction of the pump price of fuel, they were forced to reduce their tariff on goods and fares for passengers which brought a big noise between the authorities and the transport sector; that they as heads of the drivers’ union, worked tirelessly to make sure that Government achieved their demand and the new tariff was implemented to that effect.
“Now again when the Finance Minister announced the new pump price for fuel, we wish to draw the attention of the authorities that since fuel has been increased again and the goods and passenger tariff has not yet been increased, we want them to consider us and increase the fares back to its previous position before the reduction”, he stated.
Mr. Ceesay asserted that they sent a letter to the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure in October, informing him of their intention to increase fares.
The Acting President of the Drivers’ Union stated that transport fares were reduced in 21st August 2017 when the pump price of fuel was D42.55 for diesel and D44.75 for petrol; that now that the price for diesel has gone to D48.62 and D49.27 for patrol, their claim for fare increment is justified.
The Secretary of the Drivers’ Union Mr. Senghore stated that they have consulted with the Minister of Works and he has agreed and promised to inform the President when he returns.
When contacted to shed light on the matter, Mariama Ndure Njie, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of works asserted that she could not grant an interview to the media on the issue. “I do not want to talk about the matter as of now”, she stated.