Ghana: Transport Fares Go Up By 10%, Spark Prices Of Commodities To Rise

Lorry

Accra, Ghana,  September 11, 2019//-Road transport operators in Ghana will from Monday 16, September 2019,  slap a 10% increase in transport fares for all transport services, following a hike in fuel price.

 The National Chairman of Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trade Union Congress, Kwame Kuma who announced the new fares in a press release said: “In line with the Administrative Instrument on public Transport Fares, the road transport operators have reviewed the prices of the various components that go into running of commercial transport services and have increased public transport fares by 10 percent”.

This is to accommodate predominantly an increase in the fuel prices, it explained.

The new fares cover inter-city popularly known as ‘trotro’, long distance intercity, and shared taxis transport services across the length and breadth of the country, according to the release.

“Members are kindly requested to comply with the new fares and post the fare list at the load terminals so as to avoid any confrontation with traveling public.

We further request members, commuters and the general public to kindly co-operate for successful implementation of the new fares”.

Why the increase

The increment in the transport fares is occasioned by the recent hikes in prices of various petroleum products in the country.

This followed a directive by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to start applying revised Energy Sector Levies announced in the country’s Supplementary Budget recently.

Based on the revision petrol would witness a ¢0.20 adjustment, while Diesel would also attract ¢0.20 jump in price per litre.

The increase is as a result of the Road Fund Levy, Energy Debt Recovery Levy, as well as the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy increased up 20 per cent.

This means that the percentage of levies on various price build up on each product would go up, implying that the litre of petrol is now selling around ¢5.39 for both petrol and diesel and 4.5-litre gallon at around ¢24.25. Also, a kilogram of LPG is up by ¢0.08.

To this end, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) responded to the tax increase by increasing their product prices accordingly on September 1 2019.

Prices of various commodities and services up

With this increment in fares, prices of various commodities and services are expected to up starting from Monday onwards.

Several calls but no results

Despite several calls on government over the past year to review the overburdening taxes on the petroleum price build-up, it is yet to heed to the calls.

The government said it had no control over pump prices due to the price deregulation programme which introduced by the previous government in 2015.

However in a u-turn, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta defied public expectation to increase the taxes on the petroleum products in his 2019 midyear budget review. This action was greeted with condemnations from the camp of the largest opposition party-National Democratic Congress (NDC), OMCs and industry experts.

Be sensitive to the plight of the Ghanaian 

“We would want to appeal to the government to be sensitive to the plight of the Ghanaian, especially drivers and all other petroleum users as most are already complaining gravely, about the already high incidence of fuel prices across pumps”, according to the Executive Secretary Copec-Ghana, Duncan Amoah.

He continued: “It is our considered view that the revenue government so desires to raise for which it is further increasing fuel taxes and by extension, the hardships on Ghanaians can easily be realised from the blocking of all the needless avenues being employed currently by the fuel smuggling syndicate”.

Fuel smuggling accounts for over 17% of all fuel sold within the country currently and what this implies is that government loses close to 1/5 of all petroleum taxes and revenues as may be due it to this fuel smuggling cartel.

Ghana is known to have lost in excess of over GH¢4 billion over the last three year period, thus rendering the argument of government seeking to rake in some GH¢400 million for the remaining of 2019 and GH¢1.4 billion for the whole of 2020 with the increment in taxes completely unjustifiable.

General hardships

 Whiles pump prices in Ghana continue to be higher than most countries across the sub-region, the attendant problems fuel price increments bring cannot be overstated aside the general hardships and economic downturns such increases portends to everything and everyone within the country.

“We believe this move at increasing fuel taxes is nothing but ill-timed, ill-advised and completely insensitive as its repercussions on the country and the people will far outweigh any benefits anticipated thereof from this needless increases, Mr Amoah stated.

“We are hereby demanding without delay, an immediate reversal and withdrawal of this recent hikes in order to make way for further dialogue on the current fuel price build-up with the view to reversing the recent unfortunate trend of persistent increases, as it is serving no good aside putting lives and businesses across the country on the edge’”.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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