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Politics of Thursday, 21 May 2015


OccupyGhana: Maintain fuel prices until ‘dumsor’ ends

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has charged the Mahama government to refrain from worsening the plight of Ghanaians by reversing the recent 9% increment in fuel prices.

They are also asking the government to desist from making any further fuel price increments until the energy crisis is over. In a statement, the group indicated that the government cannot resort to economic subterfuge to rescue the country’s struggling economy. Their demands are in response to the recent increment in fuel prices which took effect on Sunday, May 17, 2015.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has defended the increment saying, it was made to forestall an imminent shortage of petroleum products in the country. The Authority’s CEO, Moses Asaga also said he was convinced that Ghanaians can afford the new prices.

Nonetheless, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo and other groups have began mounting pressure on government to remove the 9% increment due to the existing economic situation in the country coupled with the energy challenges.

OccupyGhana is therefore demanding that the NPA should give Ghanaians the full cost build-up of fuel especially with respect to the calculation of the Ex-refinery price.

They said they have every cause to believe that the “calculation was not done with reference to the current prevailing price of crude oil on the international market.”

The group reminded Ghanaians that the price paid for fuel is protected by the National, Petroleum Authority Act 2005, (Act 691) and LI 2186) and as such, it “requires full and detailed disclosure of the formula applied in arriving at adjusted prices. OccupyGhana is yet to see any Gazetted notices to that effect.”

They remarked that “after several decades of tolerating the underhand tactics employed by the National Petroleum Authority and the government in deciding to meddle in fuel pricing, this 9% increase in fuel prices should be condemned by in no uncertain terms by all well meaning Ghanaians who are battling with the misfortunes of dumsor, including but not limited to unplanned individual and corporate expenditure on buying and fuelling generators for businesses and daily household activities.”

“OccupyGhana categorically rejects this tax imposition in the face of the aggravated economic malaise supervised and imposed on the ordinary Ghanaian,” they said. They indicated that there wasn’t any “reasonable official explanation for the failure of government to pass on a significant amount of the 50% fall in global price of crude to the consumer.”

“A 10% reduction was effected by government albeit grudgingly, and we have still not been told how much savings government made off a rather illicit blessing to reduce its so called forex losses and debts to oil importers.”