Ghanaians expect reduction in fuel prices as promised by Mills

Prof. Atta Mills - President-elect
Prof. Atta Mills - President-elect

Ghanaians are bent on seeing their President-elect, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, honour his campaign promise of drastically reducing the price of petroleum products as soon as he is sworn into office on January 7.

Professor Mills declared on December 12, last year that 100 days after he receives the country’s leadership baton from outgoing President J.A. Kufuor, he will ensure that such a promise was honoured in addition to waiving taxes on petroleum products.

Reacting to the government’s announcement of a drop in fuel prices on December 14, 2008, the NDC noted on “We have noted with much interest the announcement that prices of petroleum products have been reduced with immediate effect from 6 a.m. of December 12, 2008.

The announcement is in obvious response to the outcome of the December 7 elections and to Prof. Evans Atta Mills’ assurance to the people of Ghana that when he ascends power as the next President of Ghana he will reduce drastically the prices of petroleum products.

“We note that the announced reductions are completely at variance with the prices that should be in place in consonance with the prescribed petroleum pricing formula. As a result, the new announced prices are still far above what they ought to be.

Indeed, spot prices of petroleum products on the international market indicate that a reduction of 20-30 percent (and not the 14-20 percent announced by the NPA) is the appropriate margin that would bring the prices abreast with the levels that should prevail on the Ghanaian market, in compliance with the prescribed petroleum pricing formula.”

The NDC continued by stating that “petrol should not sell for more than GH¢2.80 per gallon (GH¢0.6222 or 62 Gp per litre) as compared with the quoted price of GH¢3.69 per gallon (while diesel should sell at about GH¢2.65 per gallon (GH¢0.5889 or 59Gp) and not the GH¢4.00 per gallon quoted.

In our view, the NPA is in contravention of article 58(1) of the NPA Act (Act 691, 2005) and is clearly colluding with government to exploit the already impoverished Ghanaian consumer by unjustifiably and blatantly misapplying the prescribed petroleum products formula to overcharge consumers.

We call on Government to compel the NPA to further reduce the prices of petroleum products in line with the international trends and in a transparent and accountable manner as established by law.”

Irene Annan, a 35-year-old self-employed woman resident at Teshie, near Accra, in an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE said it was time Ghanaians held politicians to their pledges in order to prevent them from making impracticable promises during electioneering campaign seasons.

Johnson Okoe, a landlord and a die-hard supporter of the NDC, who also believes that Professor Atta-Mills can deliver on his promise, said since the President-elect knows how best to effect that, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

“From a layman’s point of view, the question would be where will the Professor get the resources to close the deficit to be incurred if he should do that since Ghana does not produce oil nor fix the world market prices.

“Talk about the Tema Oil Refinery’s debt as at December 2008 and a host of other commitments on the country’s development agenda,” he intimated.

Ghana’s economy grew by 6.7 percent in 2008, missing the projected target of 7.0 percent documented in the 2008 budget.

Similarly, projected figures from the Ghana Statistical Service indicated that Ghana’s economy reached GH¢17.104 billion, from GH¢14.178 billion recorded in 2007.

At the same time, the country’s per capita income which stands at $661.0 according to the 2007 figure had shot up to about $720 though the figure was not included in the document.

According to the figures, industry which was hit severely by the energy crisis or power fluctuation in 2007 recorded the highest growth of 9.99 percent as compared with 7.4 percent achieved in 2007.

Remarkably, the mining and quarrying and construction sub-sectors recorded significant growth while manufacturing as well as electricity and water witness slightly marginal growth.

On the other hand, the services sector also grew by 6.47 percent as against 8.2 percent obtained in 2007.

With the global financial crisis still lingering on, and the price of crude oil hovering around $47.7 per barrel on the world market, the new administration has to make life comfortable for Ghanaians.

Source: Daily Guide

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