“For the causes of the petroleum price hikes, there are two parts to it. First, we need to have an honest conversation about the causes of the petroleum price hikes globally, and then we need to also be honest with ourselves about what we can all do to contain the situation. Here I’m speaking to [my fellow] politicians. We all need to be honest with the impact of the global petroleum situation on the local market. Though it may have a huge effect, there is some truth we need to tell ourselves that it is not as though there is some wicked agenda in Ghana.”
“But also, even, while admitting the difficulties, the government cannot also throw its hands in the air and say it is because of a global situation. So what can government and other stakeholders do? Government has imposed levies on petroleum; levies which go into the entire fiscal framework, and every pesewa on petroleum go to add to total domestic revenue, which is not enough.”
He said the government is already cutting down on the expenses it makes from the revenue it gets from petroleum taxes.
The Information Minister further said the government is also willing to reduce further its expenses in a bid to cushion Ghanaians against fuel price hikes.
“There is a legitimate question; can government cut any further on its revenues that are coming from petroleum? What about the margins that accrue to BDCs and OMCs? Can those margins be dealt with in any way? In terms of hard currency availability, to the importers, can anything be done about that? In terms of the sources of refined products…can there be some policy discussions on amending those sources so that the cumulative effect is that, impact on the Ghanaian pump price is mitigated? All the cuts are on the table. The president has given some instructions. As of now, I’m sure some discussions are ongoing. Government has indications on what it will prefer, and it is putting those indications on the table. But you need the partnership of the BDCs, OMCs, banks among others to achieve significant impact.”
He said government and the stakeholders will have in mind the global situation of fuel while discussing the way forward.
“The total levies come up to one cedi ninety pesewas. If you took it down, the amount as a percentage of the price build-up maybe not be that significant. If the global situation keeps going the way it is going, it may not mean much at the pump prices. So you want to examine the full continuum of issues, so that when you finally crystallize….then you can actually achieve more impact no matter what happens on the international scene,” the Minister added.
Oppong Nkrumah told Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show that, after the meeting, “I suspect that maybe the Finance [Minister] and Energy [Minister] may speak together on matters of fuel [this week].”
Akufo-Addo approves measures to ‘revive’ economy; Ofori-Atta to address Ghanaians
According to the Ministry of Information in a statement issued on Monday, March 21, 2022, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will later this week brief Ghanaians on measures the government seeks to implement to address current economic challenges.
It also disclosed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has approved a number of “far-reaching measures” aimed at mitigating the depreciation of the Cedi, ensuring expenditure discipline, and providing relief in the face of global fuel price hikes and inflation as well as ensuring that priority programs meant to grow the economy are protected.
“The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will later this week provide the details of measures after consultations with key social and economic stakeholders.”
“Government appreciates the efforts of all who contributed to a successful retreat and looks forward to the support of all Ghanaians in implementing the agreed measures.”
Fuel prices and the rising cost of living
Prices of petroleum products have skyrocketed within the last few days.
Diesel is currently selling between GH¢10 and GH¢11 per litre, while the price of petrol has crossed the GH¢9 mark at some Oil Marketing Companies.
This has led to an upsurge in general prices. A recent report released by the Ghana Statistical Service noted that petroleum and food prices are the major driving forces of inflation in Ghana in recent times.
Transport operators are also proposing to increase fares by 20% following the rise in fuel prices after they last increased fares in February this year.