The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party in the country has described the recent hikes in fuel prices as insensitivity on the part of the Akufo-Addo led government to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaians.
According to the party, the increase in fuel prices would result in a negative ripple effect on the prices of goods and services and further deepen the already dire economic straits of the Ghanaian people.
A statement issued by the party on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, said “It is important to state that any discussion of fuel price hikes at this material moment cannot be divorced from the bad and insensitive policies of President Akufo-Addo.”
Below is the statement
RECENT FUEL PRICE HIKES – INSENSITIVE AKUFO-ADDO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE WORSENING PLIGHT OF GHANAIANS.
Ghanaians woke up on Monday, 2nd September, 2019 to an announcement of yet another escalation in the prices of petroleum products by the Akufo-Addo Government. This follows a directive by the state regulator, the National Petroleum Authority to Oil Marketing Companies to commence the application of what the Government calls “revised Energy Sector Levies” which were earlier announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in his 2019 mid-year Budget Review.
What this means is that the price of both petrol and diesel have been increased by GHS0.20 per litre. These latest increases translate into the reality that under this callous and clueless Akufo-Addo government, Ghanaians will now have to purchase a litre of petrol for GHS5.39 and a gallon of same for almost GHS25.00 at the pump.
A noteworthy reminder is the fact that the price of both petrol and diesel was GHS3.6 per litre in January 2017 when President Akufo-Addo and his deceitful New Patriotic Party took office. Today, we are talking about a litre of petrol selling at GHS5.39, an increment of about 50% in just two and half years.
There is no doubt that this development will result in a negative ripple effect on the prices of goods and services and further deepen the already dire economic straits of the Ghanaian people.
It is important to state that any discussion of fuel price hikes at this material moment cannot be divorced from the bad and insensitive policies of President Akufo-Addo. Specifically, the latest escalation in fuel prices is directly linked to the sharp increase in Energy Sector Levies (ESLA) by the Akufo-Addo government in the 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review Statement.
What is even sadder, is the fact that ESLA which was introduced by the erstwhile Mahama/NDC regime to clear legacy debts in the energy sector was hypocritically described by President Akufo-Addo and the NPP then in opposition as nuisance and killer taxes, with a promise to scrap it when elected. However, upon assuming office, President Akufo-Addo has not only maintained ESLA, but has actually extended its duration and further set a special purpose vehicle with it to raise five and seven-year bonds.
Aside from this fact is the profligate misapplication and misuse of revenues accruing from ESLA by this government. Since 2017, ESLA proceeds have been mismanaged, sometimes in questionable manner. In 2017 alone for example, about GHS600 million of ESLA proceeds was used to pay pension arrears, whilst in 2018, over GHS800 million could not be accounted for.