According to the taxi drivers, Uber, which uses a mobile app to connect commuters to drivers, since its arrival last year has seen taxi drivers record a drop in their sales.
The ride-hailing service is present in more than 467 cities across 72 countries with Accra last year, joining Uber’s network.
But it appears the taxi drivers are not enthused about the tech company’s presence in the country.
The Public Relations Officer for the Committed Drivers Association of Ghana, Francis Appiah, which is against the operations of Uber, speaking on the Accra-based radio station, Accra 100.5 FM, the Uber service was killing their business due to their operational cost being lower than the local taxis and nonpayment of taxes.
“Because they use private cars for the Uber taxi services, they don’t pay income tax, they don’t pay for embossments, but we the taxi drivers do pay. Taxi drivers also possess AMA embossment licenses and stickers, but they [Uber taxis] don’t have them. Again, because they mostly use private cars to do their business, the insurance they pay is much lower than what the commercial drivers pay.”
“Even the use of private cars is against the road traffic regulations, but everybody is watching as they violate the law. Today as we speak, when you go to Tanzania, Uber has killed taxi drivers’ businesses and even in the United States where they come from, they are gradually killing the taxi business. The government must not sit and watch this to happen as they will also lose huge revenues,” he added.
Mr. Appiah indicated that the use of private cars for commercial purposes by Uber was a clear violation of Ghana’s road safety regulations, however, authorities have turned a blind eye to the practice.
“The Uber service is killing the work of taxi drivers in Ghana. Because they know as foreigners they would not be able to engage in this kind of work in Ghana, some Ghanaians fronted for them to enable them to gain access to the local market. China saw the dangers they posed to their local drivers and so they prevented them from entering their market. And so why should we allow them to also kill our businesses here in Ghana,” Mr. Appiah lamented.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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