The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has blamed government for the persistent increase in the prices of fuel products in the country and urged it to take urgent steps to reverse the trend.
It said, life has become unbearable for Ghanaians under the government with the introduction of new taxes.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday, the National Communication Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, said the NPP deceived Ghanaians into believing that it had the magic wand to turn the fortunes of the economy around, only to worsen their plight.
He said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) while in opposition accused former President John Mahama of increasing fuel prices at a time when a gallon of petrol was sold at GH₵16.00.
Mr Gyamfi said, however, the cost of petrol had been increased from GH₵16.00 to GH₵31.00 within four-and-half years of the current administration.
“It will be recalled that a gallon of petrol and diesel was sold at about GH₵16 in December 2016, when the NDC/Mahama administration was leaving office. The NPP-led by the then Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice Presidential candidate, Dr Bawumia, criticised President Mahama and promised to scrap some taxes on petroleum products, particularly the Energy Sector Levies and the Special Petroleum Tax so as to significantly reduce the prices of fuel,” he said.
Mr Gyamfi said “As you may be aware, Ghanaians have once again been slapped with another increase in pump prices of fuel by the insensitive and clueless Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration. Only yesterday, the price of diesel and petrol was increased by seven per cent This is the ninth (9th) consecutive time in the year 2021 alone, that the prices of petroleum products have gone up. This has increased the price per gallon of diesel and petrol from about GH₵21.00 as at January this year, to about GH₵31.00 currently.”
Among other things, the NDC Communication Officer, noted that the introduction of a raft of taxes on petroleum products such as the introduction of 20 pesewas Energy Sector Levy on every litre of diesel and petrol; the increase of 18 pesewas in ESLA per Kilogram of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG); the introduction of a 10 pesewas sanitation (“borla”) tax on every litre of diesel and petrol; the introduction of a one per cent COVID levy on NHIL & VAT, by government, coupled with the depreciation of the cedi and economic mismanagement were the major factors responsible for the persistent and steep increase in the prices of fuel products.
Mr Gyamfi stated that the introduction of new taxes also led to an escalation in the prices of fuel products, transport fares, building materials, food products and other commodities on the market.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA