Fuel prices: Gov’t position untenable, unfair – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said government’s decision not to reduce the price of fuel, despite a drastic fall of oil prices on the world market is “untenable.”

The ruling National Democratic Congress government has argued that it owes over Gh¢ 400 million to the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDC), and it is using the current over-recovery to pay the debt hence its inability to reduce the price of petrol.

According to the main opposition party, “whatever debt that has arisen between government and the BDCs has not been caused by the rise in price of oil or any other event over which the government has limited or no control.

“The debt has arisen largely because of foreign exchange losses – the loss in value of the cedi related to the dollar for most part of the year.”

“This loss in the value of the cedi is entirely within the economic and fiscal management of the Government. In effect, the losses and the debt to the BDCs have arisen largely because of the government’s own inadequacies. To pass on the entire burden of repaying this debt on the innocent Ghanaian consumer is grossly unfair,” a statement signed by director of communications Nana Akomea said.

“With the nearly 50% fall in the price of oil, and the about 30% fall in the price of the dollar since July 2014, the Ghanaian consumer should not be paying more than GHC11 for a gallon of petrol today. Now, the Ghanaian consumer is paying about GHC5 or GHC6 extra for every gallon of petrol bought.

“Even in Africa, Sudan sells a litre at 0.73p; Egypt sells at 80pesewas a litre, Tunisia GHC1. 69p, Botswana sells at GHC2. 39p per litre, Republic of Congo sells at GHC2. 71p per litre, Lesotho sells at GHC2. 62p per litre, Namibia sells at GHC2. 62p, Cameroon sells at GHC2. 87p, whilst Ghana is selling at GHC3.39p a litre.

“A caring government can easily reduce the price by GHC3 or GHC4. This will bring much needed relief to the hard press Ghanaian consumer, whilst still giving government some over-recovery towards paying the debt.

“The NPP calls on government to show a caring face to Ghanaians and reduce petrol prices now,” the statement noted.

source : starrfonline.com