The president of Gambia Transport Union has decried government’s new transport fare tariffs imposed amid the coronavirus state of public emergency as ‘not realistic’, adding that the fares remained unchanged.

Last week the Barrow administration released a new tariff for transportation fares as part of emergency measures to control prices in all commercial sectors. But despite the government’s new tariff, passengers are still paying double fares as commercial drivers have been ordered to transport half of their vehicles’ capacities.

Dozens of commercial drivers on Monday staged a protest in Brikama to oppose the new policy which they described as “unfavourable” to them.

The Union president Omar Ceesay told reporters in a press conference “fares haven’t gone down, government has released a new tariff, but fares haven’t been reduced.”

Mr Ceesay asked how “a poor driver of a vehicle whose capacity has been reduced to 50% capacity (could survive?).” He added: “government has reduced fuel price to zero per cent because they (the government) have only reduced 1 dalasi (for fuel).”

Yes government is considering the sector (transportation) but how it is considering (the sector) doesn’t worth consideration (because) even without such consideration it is better.

“What government has reduced doesn’t yield impact on us (drivers).”

Mr Ceesay said despite the new government measures his union will continue to engage the Ministry of Finance to reduce the price of fuel in the country.

According to him, “if government says they would help people and continued to tell people to sacrifice and they are not sacrificing they shouldn’t expect people to sacrifice”, adding that members of his union have been sacrificing in reducing the number of passengers they transport.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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