Stories as they are, are always from the perspective of the narrator. What if the narrator is a victim of a self-inflicted problem.
The transport business in Ghana is not bad at all, but when done without contracts regularly ends up with bad debts. Taxi drivers mostly work with vehicles that are not owned by them, the owners are mostly referred to as car-owners by the drivers. They either work on a daily sales system or a lease system which is termed as work and pay.
With the daily sales system, the maintenance is solely the responsibility of the car owner this system has been in operation since Ghana’s independence and has benefited honest and truthful parties. This notwithstanding comes along with a lot of risk like drivers overloading to make an extra profit to some disappearing with the vehicles. Because of these challenges, a lot of people lost interest in this venture and a new trend or order emerged called work and pay.
Work and Play is a terminology that is peculiar to the Ghana people. It describes a contractual relationship between a driver and the owner of a car. In this system, the driver agrees to pay a stated amount as an initial deposit before paying up the balance subsequently over an agreed time (following the payment schedule. It could be daily, weekly, or even monthly). Note that there is no specific amount to be paid for a particular vehicle in Work and Play, and the period to complete the payment is also not static. It could be within a year or more, depending on the choice of the dealer.
Work and pay, look good on paper but are tough to achieve. This system is just like a mortgage of a home, car owners who do not want to be constantly monitoring sales and maintenance of their cars prefer to mortgage them. Because this system is not based on any collateral, Contacts are the instruments mostly used to protect the interest of both parties. This business mostly not regulated by the state is a tax-free and investment risk. Cars mostly used are brand new vehicles if it’s done by a company and used cars when done by individuals. The drivers prefer used cars as they find it difficult to approach companies due to the high cost of their new vehicles.
I can’t tell who originated the pricing formula, but the well-accepted one is by doubling the cost of the vehicle with a payable duration of up to 2 years (24 months). The mode of payment is mostly either weekly or monthly and predominately done by bank deposit. It is easier for people to access loan facilities to purchase work and pay for cars, but the interest rates deter them from such facilities. The formula for work and pay by individuals seems like a hedged system and is devoid of interest rates, cedi to the dollar exchange rate, and direct inflation.
So with all this understanding why is there a misunderstanding between drivers and car owners who have entered contractual agreements on work and pay bases?