“Fuel Price Hike Will Kill Businesses”

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    The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is furious with the latest hikes in petroleum prices, dreading that it might kill the businesses of some of its members.
    The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Monday January 3, 2010 announced an upward adjustment in the ex-pump price of petrol and diesel, citing the rise in crude oil prices on the international market as the reason for the increase.
    According to the president of the association, Nana Owusu Afari, last year’s price increment in electricity tariffs nearly collapsed some businesses of its members.
    Following the announcement of the price hikes in petroleum prices, he is apprehensive, telling Citi Business the move might make doing business in Ghana almost impossible and reduce the country’s attraction as an investment destination. “We have already been complaining about the cost of doing business in this country. Now this increase is going to take a lot of money, and when that happens the people’s ability to purchase goods are reduced and this will have a very sad effect on industry because when you produce the goods and you cannot sell, you have to cut down production and lay off workers.
    “Secondly, industry will also become uncompetitive in the ECOWAS region. We are in a global economy, so a lot of people who want to make their profits may be looking to re-locate somewhere.
    “These are things that we have always been talking to the government about. We did not expect the quantum of the percentage (increase) that we are having to handle. Its too much on the high side and industry will suffer.”