The Executive Secretary of the Chamber for Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) - Duncan Amoah, has raised concerns over the effects any shoot up in petrol prices will have on the standard and cost of living of Ghanaians.
The energy expert in an opinion has challenged government to rather explore ways of cushioning Ghanaians from the effect of any fuel increase in the future.
Already, transport operators have hinted of increased fares of transport this week as they rest their reasons to the hike in oil prices across the globe.
Below is his opinion piece on the matter:
Ghanaians have once again been slapped with another fuel price increase a few hours ago following from two earlier increases within a spate of one month.
Fuel prices that averaged Ghc 4.670/litre barely a month ago at the pumps is currently selling at an average of Ghc 5.10/litre at some pumps, representing a marginal variance of 43p/litre or 9%. This further translates to Ghc 1.93/ gallon.
Whiles these increases though marginal, cannot be directly attributed to a deliberate governmental action, as the triggers for these increases have been largely attributable to international market price increases and the cedi's depreciation, it is our belief that authorities do have a responsibility to the Ghanaian people to put in measures to forestall these harsh increases as it affects every facet of our national lives and the economy as a whole.
Outlook for the first quarter of the year certainly looks tough as prices are expected to continue rising, we at Copec had preempted this as far back as October 2020 and called for a decisive national planning, action and policies from our authorities in ensuring these expected increases of prices on the international market is planned for using strategic state entities like TOR and BOST to ensure there's adequate stock to manage, during these periods of sustained increases but the heat of our elections didn't possibly allow for effective planning as we are currently left with little options than to pass on these increases at the pumps though the economic effects of Covid-19 continue to remain dire on Ghanaians.
We ordinarily would have expected some taxes on the petroleum price build up to be eased down at this point to accommodate these increases but that will also not suffice looking at the differentials and the fact government itself is also hard pressed for revenue.
Whiles admitting times are are pretty tough, we also demand that authorities do not go to sleep but take concrete steps to plan for Ghanaians as far as fuel prices are concerned in order not to be caught flank footed anytime international price dynamics head south.
Ghana as an oil producing Nation and a net exporter cannot continue to act as though it is in a hopeless position when it comes to managing fuel prices for its citizens like other oil producing countries do for their people.
A clear, effective, national petroleum price sustainability programme ought to be initiated immediately in order to control these increases as the era of waiting for prices from the international market following from geopolitical developments cannot and should not be allowed to continue to work against the unsuspecting Ghanaian.
It is our hope also that no additional petroleum taxes is being contemplated as we are hearing from certain quarters, any such insensitive additional petroleum taxes to add to the suffering masses at this point will not only be fiercely resisted but will also be rejected out rightly with all and every available tool at our disposal.
Lastly, we call on Ghanaian Authorities to review the protocols on sitting arrangements in public transportation systems as the second wave of Covid-19 is known to be spreading very fast currently with existing medical facilities getting over stretched by the minute.
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