The challenges that have been plaguing the local transport industry could soon be history, thanks in part to ongoing efforts by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) to help address them.
According to PSF, the sector faces many handicaps, including ‘excessive’ and multiple license fees and low public bus fares that do not reflect the operating cost, nature and economic trend of the public transport business.
The Federation said in a statement recently that bureaucracy in the issuance of public transport vehicle stickers and lack of consultation during policy formulation were also hurting operations of both public transport providers and cargo transport firms.
“These challenges have increased the cost of doing business and, as a result, some firms, especially bus companies and long distance truckers, have abandoned cross-border transport business,” it said in the statement.
“Because of these issues, transport companies are struggling to break-even because they are left with barely enough money to cover operational costs or undertake capital upgrades.”
Long distance truckers have for some time now been requesting the government to lift the ban on importation of right hand driving cargo trucks into the country. They argue that European-made left hand drive vehicles are expensive compared to right hand drive trucks imported from Asia.
The truckers say this is one of the main challenges that are hurting their operations.
Mustapha Rebero of Urumuli Company, a transport and general services firm, urged the government to review the law to allow transporters to import right hand drive vehicles, arguing that this would benefit the business community and the economy, generally.
He noted transporters have complained about most of these challenges to no avail.
“This has forced some of the local transporters to register their companies in neighbouring countries to be more competitive,” Rebero said.
However, some of these woes could soon end as the Private Sector Federation is seeking a consultant to help develop a position paper that it will use to advocate for public transport providers and cross-border transporters in a bid to solve these challenges.
The consultant is also expected to analyse the issues related to public transport; study the implications of the lack of organised market arrangement locally and regionally, and present statistical data that reflects the problems associated with the problems.