Tema tro tro drivers have observed the sad conditions under which drivers operate in Ghana and are dreading life after retirement.
“Most drivers like myself are working for car owners and when we’re relieved of our services, we’re left with nothing to survive on until we get another car.
The consolation is that we have the strength to move about but what would be our fate when we are old, weak and poor sighted,” Mr Kwasi Frimpong, a tro tro driver, said.
He made this observation on Thursday when Ghana News Agency interacted with some drivers at the Tema Community One bus station on the issue of retirement preparedness.
Mr. Frimpong said the government should instruct car owners to make contributions towards the pension of their drivers so that their old age would be secured.
Mr. Paul Ocloo, also a driver, observed that it would be necessary for the drivers themselves to make contributions towards Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) which would benefit them at old age.
A driver who pleaded anonymity expressed fear concerning the payment of SSNIT contributions.
He described it as waste of money and that their contributions would be misappropriated by the SNNIT authorities.
He argued that the best people to handle the contribution would be the drivers’ unions, “because they are in charge of the welfare of drivers.”
Mr. Alex Andoh, Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Community 2 Branch, disagreed with the claims by the drivers to pay their SSNIT contributions to the Union.
He said the Union had not been mandated to offer such services to the drivers, and that “we have always advised drivers to pay their contributions to SSNT but some have not complied.”
Mr. Isaac Abban Community 5 Branch Union Member stated that it was not clearly spelt out in the Union’s constitution to take SSNIT contributions. He said they usually kept the contributions of some drivers until SSNIT officials came for them.
Mr Iddi Fuseini, a trustee of GPRTU Tema branch, said that the contribution was laudable and that they had been thinking about it.
“The payment of contributions will become a burden to the drivers as such the union is still working towards it,” he said.