I have observed public outrage over the introduction of a certain “Digital Transport Fee” by various ride-hailing platforms such as Uber, Bolt among others.
The supposed fee of GHS1.00 is said to have taken effect from April 1st, 2023, to be charged on all completed trips by Uber, while Bolt on the other hand has labelled it as a flat-rate booking fee.
Indeed, these platforms have confirmed to their users that the new charge is coming from the DVLA, for which they have also been compelled to pass on to the final consumer (the riding public).
It is in light of the above that the DVLA must come out immediately to provide details on what this charge constitutes and how it situates within any approved guidelines, regulations or fees and charges instituted by relevant authority, be it the Ministry of Transport, the National Road Safety Authority or any other body so authorised by law.
It would be recalled that in 2019, DVLA introduced a GH120 annual fee on ride-hailing platforms – Uber, Bolt and Yango. This charge came in two parts – GHS60 for unique DVLA stickers, while drivers were to also pay GHS60, all under the umbrella of Verification of License and Roadworthy Fee.
At this time of great economic difficulty, chiefly driven by high transport and fuel cost, it will be most insensitive on the part of Government, acting through the DVLA, to impose yet another tax under the guise of Digital Transport Fee. What really happened to Government’s mantra of moving the economy from taxation to production? The Ghanaian people demand answers from DVLA and the Transport Ministry now.
By Kwame Agbodza