Poku standing by the stolen taxis
Poku standing by the stolen taxis

Mr Collins Owusu Amankwah, Member of Parliament for Manhyia North has called for establishment of a body or an authority to regulate the activities of “Work and Pay” businessmen.

According to him, the circumstances of arrangements are shylock-like and milking most of the drivers involved in the transaction, adding that the plight of these drivers in this business is worrying and needed to be considered.

Mr Amankwah made the assertion when he presented a statement on the floor of Parliament on the plight of “Work and Pay” drivers in the country.

The “Work and Pay” is system or an arrangement under which drivers enter into agreement with the vehicle owner or dealer to pay a set amount each day, usually five to six days a week, ranging from GHC50 to GHC60 daily and after two to three years, the driver owns the car. Normally, the driver is responsible for all repairs and maintenance of the vehicle including taxes relating to the operation of the cars.

Mr Amankwah also appealed to the House to review the existing law on Hire Purchase Act 1972 (NRCD 292) to include the “Work and Pay” business.

He said these drivers pay between 48 to 50 percent interest per annum on the cost of the vehicle for this type of business.

He said the drivers are compelled to work beyond their abilities to make more sales in order to be able to pay the cost of acquisition.

Mr Amankwah also stated that the vehicles given to these drivers are second hand or used cars so after the three years of payment, the vehicles are often left in a deplorable condition.

He said when a driver for whatever reason is unable to make sales for three weeks the person loses the initial monies paid.

He said often, drivers who take loans from banks and other financial institutions have their cars impounded when they default in payment.

Mr Amankwah also called on the banking sector to introduce more creative and innovative long term auto financing products in order to reduce the plight of these hard working citizens.

He stressed the need for the “Work and Pay” businessmen to be put under one structure where there would be proper organisation and coordination, building the capacity of the union to function appropriately.

He said the organisation should be empowered to coordinate initiatives pertaining to the business and also improve the terms and conditions of the business to benefit taxi drivers.

Mr Amankwah further stressed the need to institutionalised “Work and Pay” business to provide employment and generate revenue for the country, adding that this should be done under proper rules and regulation.

He said in accordance with the Borrowers and Lenders Acts 2008, the Bank of Ghana is required by law to promote public awareness of credit matters, through public education and dissemination of information.

He said to avoid the recurrence of the fate that befell the recent victims of microfinance scam such as DKM, GOD IS LOVE etc. it was important that the Bank of Ghana played its supervisory and enforcement role to the benefit of all citizens.

Mr Mathias Ntow, MP for Aowin in his contribution called on the Bank of Ghana to put in place measures to control the activities of “Work and Pay”.

Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, MP for Dade Kotopon, in his contribution stressed the need to regulate this transaction to ensure that people who go for such arrangements were not exploited and cost to them were within the recommended cost.

He said the state must ensure that the rights of persons under such financial leasing conformed to the Bank of Ghana laws.