As a result, the price of petrol has increased from GH¢3.05 per litre to GH¢3.33, while diesel, which was previously sold at GH¢2.96, has now gone up to GH¢3.24.
The Communications Director of the NPA, Yaro Kasambata, who confirmed this in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, explained that the increase was as a result of the hike in prices of crude oil on the international market.
“Since February this year, crude oil prices and finished products have been increasing on the international market. Crude oil prices have increased by 34 per cent since February, while the prices of finished petroleum products have increased by 37 per cent,” he said.
Apart from the increases of prices on the international market, he said the persistent fall in the value of the cedi was also considered in the decision to adjust the prices of petroleum products on the local market.
Mr. Kasambata explained that the nine per cent increase in the prices of petroleum products formed part of the authority’s full cost recovery policy aimed at ensuring that prices of petroleum products reflected the prices on the international market.
He said the reason why the NPA refused to reduce the petroleum prices marginally when prices on the international market took a nose dive for close to a year was that, the government needed the windfall to settle its debts.
According to him, the government had been able to clear a debt of GH¢412 million with revenue generated from the drop in prices on the international market.
He said the NPA had a long term goal to liberalise the local market for the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), to set their own prices to enhance competition on the market, but was quick to add that the authority would put in place adequate mechanisms “to ensure that the OMCs do not take consumers for a ride”.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said the government shared the concerns of Ghanaians with regard to the increases and attributed the increases in the prices on the international market, to high shipping cost, among other things.
She said the ministry would work with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) to ensure that the new transport fares did not overburden the public.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Vomafa-Akaplu reports that some commuters and driver unions at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle have expressed their disappointment at the increase in fuel prices
According to them, the government should have considered the effects of the power cuts on their economic activities before increasing the fuel.
Mr. Alex Mensah, a taxi driver, at the Las Palmas Taxi Rank, said the current state of affairs could be solved through divine intervention.
According to him, the announcement had compelled their regular customers to shun them since they could not afford the new fares they charged.
Isaac Senya of the Odawna-Ashaiman Branch, urged the government to take a second look at the frequent fuel price increases, saying it was seriously affecting their business.
He, however, said they would continue charging the old fares until their leaders came out with new fares.
Mr. Philip Nyarko, former Secretary of the Odawna Hiring Branch, said they would surely have to increase their fares, but that would have to come from the various driver unions.
A commuter, Mr. Yaw Ofosu, expressed serious reservations about government’s frequent fuel hikes.
According to him, the way the government was handling the fuel situation posed serious consequences for its 2016 bid.
Mr. Ofosu urged the government to learn from the minor mistakes of the New Patriotic Party so as not to cause disaffection to the ordinary voter, adding that the ‘dumsor’ has killed our business and now transportation is going to kill it further”.
Most filling stations, have started retailing their products at the new prices, reports Lawrence Markwei.
When the Times visited the Total Filling Station at North Kaneshie, Adam Ibrahim, the attendant, said they had started retailing the products with the new prices which took effect from yesterday.
The story was not different at Bubiashie, Allied Oil, where Yayah Issah said they had also adjusted the prices to reflect the National Petroleum Authority’s announcement.
At the Goil Filling Station on the Kaneshie market stretch, a buyer was incensed by the reading on his petrol gauge after the attendant had served him.
He fumed with anger thinking that the attendant had cheated him out of the purchase, since the reading was below what he usually got.
Mr. Seth Awuku, the attendant, went through a big task trying to explain to him that there had been a price increase, which had affected the number of litres he should have received.
He told the Times that after the news broke out, they were instructed to serve patrons at the new prices.
By David Adadevor & Yaw Kyei