The Executive Secretary of Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Duncan Amoah, has described the increase in fuel prices as ill-timed and insensitive.
According to him, the increase in fuel prices is unfortunate considering the fuel levy imposed by the Finance Ministry in its 2021 budget. He revealed that, such a move has already caused some hardship among Ghanaians.
His comments follow a directive from the National Petroleum Authority for the OMCs to start applying new taxes on fuel.
Commenting on the implication of the hike in fuel prices, he revealed that the Authority is also intending to increase margins on fuel.
“It is not just unfortunate, but this is unacceptable. It is also going to increase margins particularly the BOST margin which if you’ll recall was increased from 3 pesewas last year to 6 pesewas.
“Again, we also have fuel marking margin which is like your fuel differentiation marker. We think that at a time technology is so advanced… the fuel marking project itself will have to be reviewed. But we are increasing the fuel margin marking from 3 pesewas to 8 pesewas. Again, NPA is also increasing your UPPF from 27 pesewas to 30 pesewas.
“The sad part is that, the transporters who even do these jobs are not getting the monies. Again, you have the primary distribution margin, which used to be 8 pesewas, NPA has increased it to 11 pesewas”.
NPA must be “reined in”
Mr Amoah further noted that, the National Petroleum Authority must therefore be called to order with its fuel price increment.
Additionally, he explained that, “the NPA should be made to withdraw this without delay at all”.
“If you put all of these margins together, tomorrow, NPA has added additional 17 pesewas to every litre of fuel you purchase. [When] you do the numbers, that’s almost 18 pesewas per gallon. If you put all together with the taxes the finance ministry is requesting for, what it means is that, every Ghanaian effective tomorrow, will be paying almost 2.50p extra on your current fuel prices.
“We think that the NPA will have to be reined in at this point. It is not only ill-timed, but extremely insensitive and bad considering how high fuel prices already are in this country.
“We do not think that the NPA should be made to go ahead with this”.
Stop the increase in fuel prices
In January this year, COPEC requested government to introduce measures to stop the increase in fuel prices.
According to the Chamber, fuel prices have shot up from Ghc 4.670 to Ghc 5.10 per litre within a month.
It further revealed that, although these increases cannot be directly attributed to a deliberate governmental action, authorities have a responsibility to put in place measures to forestall them.
It also called for a “clear, effective, national petroleum price sustainability programme” in order to control these increases.
The Chamber further expressed hope that “no additional petroleum taxes is being contemplated as we are hearing from certain quarters”.