Tanker Owners Union (TOU) and Tanker Drivers’ Union (TDU) of Tema say they will withdraw their services if the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) goes ahead with its threat to remove bulk road vehicles (BRVs) aged 12 years and above from the road.
According to the unions, the policy will not only throw out hundreds of drivers and mates into the streets but will also kill the huge investments tanker owners have made in bulk road vehicles.
The tanker owners’ and drivers’ ire was ignited when they received a letter written by the Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Mr Alexander Mould, which directs that by the end of this year 60% of each transporter’s fleet of BRVs must be below 12 years, 80% by 2014, and 10% by the following year.
The letter – dated June 7, 2013 and copied to the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, TDU, TOU and the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) – further stated that no BRV aged over 20 years would be granted operational license this year.
For BRVs whose ages range between 12 and 20 years, inspection and certification will be done by BIVAC, a French company, instead of Road Safety Limited (RSL) or the State Transport Company (STC), who used to do the job.
Speaking to some tanker owners and drivers in Tema, they said at least 300 tanker owners are ready to hit the streets against the NPA and Mr Mould if the new policy is forced down their throat.
“If Mr Alex Mould wants to phase out our BRVs, then he first has to supply us with brand new ones so we work and pay the cost by instalments as it is done in South Africa, the States and Europe. How many of us individual tanker owners can afford a brand new BRV?” a transporter, Michael Tetteh asked.
He alleged that the NPA wanted to phase out local transporters to make room for foreign transporters to take over the oil transporting business “because I can hardly understand why the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA) is not aware of all these new inspections because it also carries inspection of vehicles before the issuance of license.”
A tanker driver, George Nyaunu said he could not understand why with the current high rate of unemployment the government and NPA would want to create more unemployment by adopting such a policy “But for Mr Alex and the NPA and government, I never knew vehicles have expiry dates, otherwise 90% of the commercial vehicles on our roads must be sold for scraps. We have certificates to show that our vehicles are regularly certified by Mr Mould’s own specified inspection and certification company, BIVAC, so what does he want to tell us? To kill our business and starve our families?” he added.
The Finder’s attempts to get Mr Mould for his side of the story have so far been futile.
Source: The Finder
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