Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adams Mutawakilu, has cautioned government to focus on fixing the depreciating cedi rather than undermining efforts of previous government.
“They said they are the good managers of the economy, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia claimed he knows everything…he should fix it quickly,” he said.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Damongo said fuel prices in the country have been increasing since the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the reins of government.
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Some transport operators in the country have increased their fares, a development they have blamed on the rising cost of fuel at filling stations.
Senior Minister, Dr Yaw Osafo Maafo
Passengers heading to Russia, and Shukura, all suburbs in Accra, who were initially paying GHC1.70p are now paying GHC2.00.
Also, some drivers are charging GHC1.50ps from passengers heading to Kaneshie from the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange lorry park. The same distance a day or two ago cost passengers GHC1.20p.
Related Article: Transport fares up by 15 percent?
Although, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the umbrella body for transport operators in the country has advised its members against increasing transport fares, trotros and taxi operators have defied the call.
Fuel prices have been constantly reviewed upwards from January despite an international market crude oil price of $55 a barrel.
Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Duncan Amoah, told Joy News Thursday the situation might remain the same if government does not stabilise the cedi.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
“We are saying that the government should, through the Bank of Ghana (BoG), work to stabilize the cedi in order to be able to curtail the rampant increases we are seeing,” he said.
But Senior Minister, Dr Yaw Osafo Maafo has offered that the cedi will stabilise after investors have perused government’s 2017 budget.
“When it turned out that your growth was 3.6 percent and you deficit was 10.35 percent what do you expect your external investors to do? [They] will de-invest,” he explained to Joy News’ Joseph Gakpo.
His explanation has unnerved Mr Mutawakilu who said government’s blaming of the previous NDC government for the rising cost of commodities in the country is inappropriate.
He said former President John Mahama left a country with an “official” economic growth of 3.6 percent and a balance surplus of GHC2.6 billion.
Some passengers aggrieved by the recent hike in fares
Mr Mutawakilu blamed government for lessening the confidence of investors in the nation’s economy because of its repeated labelling of the economy as worst.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council, Kwesi Kwakye, has called on their members to halt increment of transport fares.
“It is unfortunate for some people to say they are going to increase their fares,” he said, adding that should be done in consultation with the leadership of the GPRTU.