General News of Tuesday, 6 January 2015
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has stressed the need for the Mahama-led administration to further reduce the prices of petroleum products.
The National Petroleum Authority a few days ago announced a 10% reduction in fuel prices after coming under intense public backlash following a slump in crude oil prices on the world market.
The main opposition party has argued that it is not enough and the prices could come down further because “Ghanaians cannot pay for government’s failure.”
“It is also instructive to note that, this over GHC400million owed the BDCs that poor innocent Ghanaians are being made to pay for, can be easily settled by the US$100million fraudulent payments at GYEEDA,” a statement from NPP communications director Nana Akomea said.
“It is very worrying that while the NDC government is quick to tax poor, innocent Ghanaians, they are not so quick in retrieving tax-payers money fraudulently paid out by the same government. How long will innocent Ghanaians continue to suffer for the government’s gross inefficiency and failure?”
It said: “Since September 2014, the price of the dollar in Ghana has fallen from about GHC3.80p to GHC3.19p, whilst the price of crude oil has fallen by almost 50% (from $103 to $56 today). Industry experts have confirmed that Ghanaians should not be buying a gallon of petrol by more than GH10 today. However, the NDC government maintained price of a gallon at GHC17 until this first week of January 2015.
“Regrettably the recent revision has pegged the price at over GHC13 per gallon, which in effect means Ghanaians are paying about 30% more for every gallon of petrol they buy. The government’s explanation is that Ghanaians should pay this extra money so that it can repay debt of over GHC400million it owes the BDC’s. By this explanation, the government is in effect throwing over board the formula for fuel price adjustments which has been in place over the years.
“It is important to note that, the formula stopped the turbulence that was associated with fuel price adjustments. It had become a social pact between the government and the people until now. We must not disregard the dangers that come along with throwing away the formula.”
“The debt government owes the BDC’s has arisen out of the so called forex losses. These forex losses have occurred as a result of the government’s very poor fiscal and economic management, which has seen the price of the dollar rise to over 150% in just six (6) years.
“In 2014 alone, the cedi had lost over 40% of its value by September, before regaining about 12% in the last three months of the year. So the forex losses, which have caused government’s debt to the BDCs are largely the result of the government’s failure in fiscal and economic management. Poor innocent Ghanaians are now bearing the brunt of this government’s failure by paying higher than necessary price for petrol,” the statement added.