BY BENJAMIN TANDOH
THE CHAMBER of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Ghana has given the President a 30-day ultimatum to fire the Minister for Energy, Mr Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, for his inability to deal with the frequent increases of prices of fuel in the country.
According to COPEC, the minister has lost touch with the stark realities on the ground, hence the need for his immediate replacement.
In an interview with the DAILY HERITAGE, Mr Duncan Amoah, Executive Secretary, COPEC, expressed disappointment in the ministry’s inability to protect the interest of the general public from persistent fuel price hikes, saying “they [the ministry] is living in self-denial.”
“Things might not get better for all of us anytime soon if the status quo remains as it is,” he told the paper.
He continued that, “If the President doesn’t fire the minister, then we can say that he [the President] is in support of the frequent hike in fuel prices.”
Mr Amoah further disclosed to the DAILY HERITAGE that his outfit would take further actions against the government if the President fails to kick out the minister.
In a press statement released earlier, Mr Amoah argued that, “The impending increases in transport fares by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union is, indeed, an indication of pretty difficult times ahead as the outlook for 2018 gives no indication of global prices dropping anywhere below the $40/barrel.”
He further questioned the Ministry’s commitment to help curb the issue of persistent increment in the prices of fuel.
“Ghanaians have had to grapple with persistent increases in fuel price over the past months with virtually no solution in sight as pump prices continue to go up by the day amidst blatant denials from the Energy Ministry.
“This trend leaves one wondering if, indeed, the ministry responsible is itself concerned or doing anything pragmatic to stem the worrying trend other than the blatant public denials of the phenomenon,” he argued in the statement.
He continued that, “Fuel prices across some pumps have seen an average adjustment of around 4% since the 4th day of January with some pumps currently trading above 4.670/litre.”
“Fuel prices that used to trade at GH¢ 4.490/litre for both petrol and diesel have seen an increase to above 4.670 a difference of about 18p or some 4.008% increases, price per gallon per the new increases is now GH¢ 21.015from the previous GH¢ 20.20 for both products.
“We continue to keep an eye on international developments as well as local factors, leading to these increases though one thing is quite certain, some of the many taxes, particularly the Special Petroleum Tax, should have been eased down long ago as these no longer remain justifiable around this difficult point and time,” he stated