The Ghanaian government at the weekend announced yet another hike in the pump price of petroleum products, ending weeks of speculations of an impending rise in product prices.
The upward adjustment in the price of petroleum products is the third in three successive years and likely to push up inflation in the country. Announcing the new price regime, the Chief Executive of Ghana Petroleum Authority, (NPA), Mr. Alex Mould said in a statement that “the maximum indicative price of a litre of petrol will be GHS 2.0296 (GHS 9.22 per gallon) and the maximum indicative price for a litre of diesel will be GHS 2.0683 (GHS 9.31) per gallon.” Other by-products were also affected by the hike, as kerosene has been increased by 15 percent and now sell for 104.65 pesewa per litre.
LPG is mostly affected with about 50 per cent rise. It now sells at 194.5 per litre. There was immediate rise in transport fares in the country. For instance, within the Accra city centre, the hike ranged from 30 to 40 per cent. The popular and cheapest mode of public transportation popularly referred to as “tro-tro” was not excluded from the sharp rise. A ride in the bus from Madina to Accra, which formerly was 80 pesewa has been increased to GHS 1.00, while a ride in a taxi from the same distance, which hitherto ranged from GHS 8.00 to GHS 10.00 now cost about GHS 15.00.
Justifying the increase in the cost of public transportation, the Secretary-General of Ghana Road Transport Commuting Council, Alhaji Aliu Baba affirmed that the council considered several variables necessitated by the rise in fuel price to arrive at a new price range.
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terpker prior to the announcement had defended the increase, insisting that government could not continue to subsidize petroleum products, as it was unsustainable and risky to the economy. However, an opposition lawmaker of member of the ruling National Democratic, Congress (NDC) representing Aowin constituency in the western Region, Mr. Mathias Kwame Ntow, condemned the removal of subsidy, saying that it would intensify the hardship of the poor in the society.