Provident Fund for Drivers

The government is to set up a provident fund for commercial drivers to enable them to access loans after a specific period of contribution. The scheme, which takes effect from June next year will be implemented through the respective transport associations such as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, the Progressive Transport Owners Association and Cooperative Transport Union, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Dzifa Attivor. The Minister, who announced the new deal at a road safety sensitization programme in Accra, said a draft policy is currently with the Attorney Generalís Department for fine turning after which a stakeholders meeting with the executives of the various transport unions for their input will be held. The road safety programme, organised by the Greater Accra regional office of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), was to sensitise drivers, passengers, pedestrians, traders and potters to road safety measures especially during the Yuletide. Mrs. Attivor said government had realised that most commercial drivers depended solely on earnings from their daily operations for livelihood and thought it wise to institute the fund so that drivers could access loans after they had contributed to the fund over a specific period. In addition, she said plans were far advanced for the government to purchase buses to be distributed among transport unions for their members throughout the country on hire-purchase basis. The Deputy Minister appealed to drivers to exercise patience on the roads especially during the Yuletide during which some drivers were often tempted to speed in their desire to reach their destinations early. The Deputy Minister said to ensure accident free Yuletide, a log book had been introduced at the various lorry stations by the transport unions for drivers to sign before taking off and on arrival at their destination as a means of controlling speed. She said it was obligatory for long distance drivers to stop and rest after driving for four hours. She said government was considering the institution of a national awards for drivers who, for a period of years, have not been involved in an accident.