Groups such as Organized Labor, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers and the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party have intensified their call on the NPA to as a matter of urgency withdraw the increments.
The latest to add its voice to the growing calls is Occupy Ghana, a socio – political non – partisan pressure group which has gone a step further and called on Ghanaians to reject the recent fuel increments.
According to the pressure group, due to the erratic power supply known as Dumsor which had crippled several businesses virtually bringing the economy to a standstill, the last thing that this government should have done was to go ahead with the increases in fuel prices and urged Ghanaians to register their displeasure at the insensitivity of the Mahama led administration.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), last Saturday increased petroleum products by 9%. Per the new prices, petrol is now sold at Gh¢3.33 per litre with Diesel going for Gh¢3.24 per litre.
A kilogram of LPG is expected to be sold at GHc 2.88, MGO Local will go up Gh¢2.96.
Unified petroleum is expected to go up by 4 percent while kerosene will be up by 9 percent.
Public Relations Officer for the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Yaro Kasambata however says the effect of the upward adjustment in fuel prices is very insignificant thus Ghanaians need not unnecessary hit the roof.
Mounting a robust defense of the Authority’s decision to increase fuel prices by 9 percent, he opined that the figure may appear quite huge, but in monetary terms, the amount is insignificant to affect the pocket of Ghanaians.
But Occupy Ghana, has in very strong unequivocal terms, urged Government to “reverse the recently introduced increases in fuel prices, and desist from any further fuel price increment until the Dumsor crisis is over.”
According to a statement released by the group on Wednesday, government should be seen to be lessening the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian instead of making it worse.
“….this 9% increase in fuel prices should be condemned in no uncertain terms by all well meaning Ghanaians who are battling with the misfortunes of Dumsor, including but not limited to unplanned individual and corporate expenditure on buying and fuelling generators for businesses and daily household activities,” the statement read.
The group, made up of middle class citizens with the vision of engaging Ghanaians in development process and ensuring good and responsible governance, urged the citizenry “to reject the increase in fuel prices and express their displeasure at the blatant disregard for the dictates of the law as regards fuel pricing.”
The group also noted with dismay “the 9% increase in fuel prices, barely 24 hours after the #dumsormuststop vigil led by some celebrities.”
“Occupy Ghana categorically rejects this tax imposition in the face of the aggravated economic malaise supervised and imposed on the ordinary Ghanaian. We do not recall any reasonable official explanation for the failure of government to pass on a significant amount of the 50% fall in global price of crude to the consumer. A 10% reduction was effected by government albeit grudgingly, and we have still not been told how much savings government made off a rather illicit blessing to reduce its so called forex losses and debts to oil importers,” the group lamented.
The apolitical pressure group also decried “the underhand tactics employed by the National Petroleum Authority and the government in deciding to meddle in fuel pricing.”
Occupy Ghana also called on the government to be ingenious in finding solutions to the worsening economic crisis instead of fuel increments.