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General News of Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

OccupyGhana rejects 9% increase in fuel prices

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, becomes the latest body pushing the government to reverse the increase in petroleum prices.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) over the weekend announced 9% increase in some petroleum products.

The opposition New Patriotic Party, the Trades Union Congress among other groupings have described the increment as “insensitive” in the face of incessant power supply in Ghana.

According to OccupyGhana, the upward adjustment must be resisted by all Ghanaians, adding there must be no increment until the ‘dumsor’ – the blackout – is resolved completely.

“OccupyGhana has noted with grave concern the 9% increase in fuel prices, barely 24 hours after the #dumsormuststop vigil led by some celebrities. OccupyGhana categorically rejects this tax imposition in the face of the aggravated economic malaise supervised and imposed on the ordinary Ghanaian,” a statement from the pressure group said.

“We do not recall 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.

“If as suggested, this 9% price hike is to offset further depreciation of the cedi against major currencies, the answer lies in better economic management, not wanton panicky measures,” it noted.

It added: “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 wishes to remind Ghanaians of the fact that the price we have to pay for fuel is protected by law (The National, Petroleum Authority Act 2005, (Act 691) and LI 2186) and as such 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.

“OccupyGhana is of the view that even if the political economy of the current situation demands some rescuing of the badly managed economy, clearly it cannot be obtained through economic subterfuge.

“OccupyGhana demands that the National Petroleum Authority gives Ghanaians the full cost build-up of fuel especially with respect to the calculation of the Ex-refinery price as we believe that the calculation was not done with reference to the current prevailing price of crude oil on the international market.

“OccupyGhana calls on the government to be sensitive to the plight of Ghanaians and refrain from making it worse.

“In these Dumsor times, the situation brought about by the mismanagement of the economy must be corrected. OccupyGhana insists that Government must reverse the recently introduced increases in fuel prices, and desist from any further fuel price increment until the Dumsor crisis is over.

“OccupyGhana calls on all well-meaning Ghanaians to reject the increase in fuel prices and express their displeasure at the blatant disregard for the dictates of the law as regards fuel pricing. Ghanaians must wear their voices.”