Ghanaians are on the verge of being hit with another astronomical increase in the cost of fuel at the pumps at the fuel retail outlets effective tommorow, the first of May.
At the current fuel price averages of Ghc 5.40/litre, most Ghanaians have expressed misgivings about the high cost of fuel leading to increase in costs of living and hardships with the various transport unions already threatening to increase transport fares and as such most Ghanaians expected nothing but policy measures In helping reduce these harsh prices at the fuel pumps.
Contrary to these expectations however, the 2021 budget indicated some upward reviews on two taxes namely the Energy Sector Recovery Levy and Sanitation and Pollution levy of 20p/litre and 10p/litre respectively totalling 30 P per litre.
As though these two additions which have met a lot of public resistance and misgivings were not enough, The National Petroleum Authority unilaterally has also added another 17p cumulative to the already neck breaking 30p/litre and this is also, expected to take effect from tommorow together with the parliamentary approved tax of 30p/litre.
What this means is that Ghanaians will have to cough up 47p/litre instead of the 30p/litre as approved by Parlimanet from the budget.
Bost margin which was increased last year from 3p/litre to 6/litre further been increased by the NPA by an additional 100% from the current 6p/litre to 12p/litre.
UPPF has been increased by an additional 3p/litre from 27p to 30/litre.
Primary Distribution Margin has been by an additional 3p/litre from 8p to 11p/litre.
Fuels marking Margin which at this point in our technological advancement should be removed has also been increased by 5p/litre from 3p to 8p/litre.
All these needless additional increases are expected to take effect from tommorow.
What this means is that the NPA unilaterally is adding in excess of 3.2% on current pump prices in addition to the parliamentary approved 5.5% new taxes from the 2021 budget. This will lead to fuel price increments of about 8.7% on current prices.
We believe the NPA by this singular action and previous acts is completely out of touch with the economic realities of the people who buy fuels in the country as that the Npa itself is simply becoming another burden on Ghanaians and will need to be reigned in by the appropriate Authorities from these arbitrary increases at a time as this when the harsh effects of Covid 19 on businesses and individuals is still raging.
Whiles it is on record the country is losing billions of cedis in revenue to the fuel smuggling phenomenon and for which reason we think comprehensive efforts by the state should be directed at blocking the cartel engaged in this act to deliver the needed revenues to the state, we object to any attempts to simply continue adding taxes and unnecessary margins on the fuel price build up which only adds to the increasing hardships on Ghanaians.
We are by this calling on authorities to reign in the Npa, to immediately withdraw these new needless add ons as any attempts to force these unilateral increases by the NPA using the backdoor on Ghanaians will be steeply resisted