The Member of Parliament (MP) for Gomoa West in the Central Region of Ghana, Mr Richard Gyan-Mensah, has called on the government to address the persistent hikes in the prices of petroleum products.
According to him, the situation has become unbearable and the most dreadful nightmare confronting Ghanaians as the economy virtually depends on these petroleum products.
He said a wide range of economic indicators, including the general prices of goods and services, food prices, transport fares among others, are heavily driven by the prices of petroleum products.
Making a statement on the floor of Parliament on the nature and effect of the persistent hikes in petroleum products on Friday, Mr Gyan-Mensah stated that data from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) between January 1999 and September 2022 indicated that Ghana consumes 65,535,805.37 metric tonnes of petroleum products – which directly illustrates how crucial petroleum products are to the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian.
He said this year had seen the most astronomical increase in petroleum products with the government explaining to the ordinary Ghanaian understand, it was due to external factors like post COVID-19 pandemic challenges and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Mr Gyan-Mensah said a detailed assessment showed government controlled variables, such as taxes and levies on petroleum products and the weakening strength of the cedi are mainly responsible for the persistent fuel price hikes.
He asserted that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) raised the price of petrol and diesel from GH₵6.95 to and GH₵7.03 in the first pricing window in January to GH₵17.99 and GH₵23.49 in the first pricing window in November, respectively increasing by GH₵11.04 (158.79%) for petrol and GH₵16.46 (234.25 per cent) for diesel, while the price for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has increased by GH₵7.51, from GH₵8.84 in January to GH₵16.35 in November, an 84.99 per cent increment “which means Ghana has the highest petroleum prices among neighbouring countries per the Global Petrol Prices and NPA in November 2022.”
The Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Science and Technology Member, attributed the high cost of living to the rise in petroleum products which he insisted, affects food, housing, clothes, energy among others.
Rising petroleum prices, he said, had significantly affected many transportation and distributions companies where most businesses have pushed their operational cost to the ordinary Ghanaian.
He cited the increase in transport fares which have doubled in previous weeks, explaining that from Circle to Parliament House, which cost GH₵5.00 two weeks ago, now costs GH₵7.00; “yet salaries of workers remain the same.”
Speaking on the ordeal of a National Service Personnel (NSP) posted to the Parliament House but lives at Tabora – an Accra suburb, Mr Gyan-Mensah said they would now have to spend GH₵36.00 per day and GH₵720.00 a month.
“It means an NSP who takes GH₵559.00 per month as allowance, will have to borrow an additional GH₵170.00 a month for transportation.”
The Gomoa West MP stated that the prices of basic commodities, such as plantain, maize, yam, tomatoes, oil and onion have shot up due to the surge in transportation expenses
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY