Wood processing outlets and drivers in the Asokore Mampong area say recent fuel price hikes and its attendant transport fare increases are taking a toll on their businesses.
They say transport fare increases take a major share of their income.
Drivers who cart fresh wood are compelled to reduce working days due to fuel and diesel price increases.
The wood processing industry creates employment and export value for the country.
73.35 million U.S dollars was accumulated from the export of timber and timber products, in June 2021.
Wood dealer, Kojo Antwi, reveals transporters of food from the forest, are refusing to transport their wood due to the high prices.
He explained the situation has reduced his business prospects.
“Drivers have refused to pick loads because of high fuel prices, so we plead with government to do something about it.
Some of the things they consider aside fuel prices include maintenance, car tyres and diesel.
“I used to have adequate wood around but lately, since drivers have refused to pick them up for me, it’s left with just a few because I can’t restock. The Bible says there will be hard times but I think this government is forcing this prophecy to come to pass”. He said.
A driver, Samuel Appiah Kubi, explained” Some of us are graduates but since there is unemployment in the country, they are also trying their possible best to work to get their daily bread. Things used to be better early this year but lately, things are not well. We get the wood from Mmem, Goaso, Kasapii, and Gambia. Looking at these places, it takes a lot of distance before you get there. Lately, you need to have 5,000 Ghana cedis before you can mobilise wood to Asokore Mampong. So this is not making us happy as drivers,”
Mariama, who is a firewood seller, pleaded with the government to come to their aid.
“I am a firewood seller, Aboboya charges 150 cedis from here to Aboabo, but we used to pay 70 cedis. These drivers are now saying they won’t take my firewood to my destination again, because they are not breaking even. I can’t carry the wood on my head to my destination too. So we are begging government to do something about the fuel prices so that everyone will benefit from what he or she is doing,” she said.
Source: Ghana News