The Minority in Parliament has called on the government to take steps to stop the incessant price hike in petroleum products before the situation got out of hand.
According to the caucus, the government was making “supernormal profit” from the sale of petroleum products from the country’s crude oil sales and should use those proceeds to cushion the Ghanaian.
“We therefore, call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that they should do something about this price increment. They should sit up and think outside the box and apply this huge supernormal profit to cushion the ordinary Ghanaian.
“We hold the view that government can do something about the fuel price increment. Government must sit up and cushion the Ghanaian from this price volatility. The people of Ghana are suffering and something must be done,” Minority Spokesperson on Energy, John Abdulai Jinapor, told the press in Parliament, Accra, yesterday.
His demand comes on the back of a jump in petroleum products from about GH¢18 to GH¢23 for diesel and GH¢15 to about GH¢19 for petrol for the latest pricing window which took effect from Tuesday.
Providing clarity to claims that government was making supernormal profit from crude oil sales, Mr Jinapor said the government has exceeded its revenue target and should use the windfall to cushion Ghanaians from the worsening petroleum prices.
“This government is making money from the Russia-Ukraine war. In the 2022 budget, government projected that it would earn a total amount of GH¢6 billion but today as we speak, in the PIAC report, in less than three months, government has received over GH¢8 billion from our petroleum resources. So in three months, government has received more than it received for the whole year.
“Even the price stabilisation and recovery levy, which is supposed to subsidise fuel, government projected in the first two quarters that it would rake in GH¢269 million. As we speak, from the Ministry of Finance’s own records, government has received about GH¢800 million,” Mr Jinapor, MP, Yapei-Kusawgu, stated.
“So this notion that government is not making revenue is a fallacy and a complete falsehood. Government is making so much from petroleum resources and should use the windfall to cushion the suffering Ghanaian,” he added.
He said it was the expectation that the market would ease after the president addressed the nation on Sunday but that has not been the case.
Proposing solutions to tone down the increment of petroleum products at the pumps, John Jinapor said the government must put in place measures to refine its own crude oil.
“The Tema oil refinery, as a matter of urgency, should be revamped to process Ghana’s domestic crude and that can give us 4,500 barrels of processed crude everyday and that will put less burden on the need for forex.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI