People in Sunyani express disappointment in fuel price increases
The petroleum price increases announced by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) have been condemned by sections of the public in the Sunyani Municipality. In random interviews with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), businessmen and women, petty traders, farmers and teachers asked the government to come out and explain to Ghanaians the main motives for the increment. The NPA on Monday announced 25 and 30 percent increment in petroleum products citing rising world crude prices. Mr Frank Opoku Adjapong, a businessman, said; “Ghanaians should be aware that the proclamation by President John Evans Atta Mills that 2011 would a year of action has begun with price hikes in goods and services”. He observed that the increase in fuel prices would definitely bring extra hardship to the ordinary citizenry as prices of goods and services would go up. Mr Adjapong said; “Since Ghana has now joined world oil producing countries if there should be any increases in the prices of petroleum products it should be reasonable”. Mr Patrick Owusu Barimah, Teacher at St. James Seminary and Senior High School at Abesim, near Sunyani, said the increases were uncalled for. He said in 2008 world market price for crude oil stood at 147 dollars per barrel and as at that time a gallon of petrol was sold at GH¢ 5.30 in Ghana. “During President Mills’ campaign he assured Ghanaians that the price was too high and that his government would ensure a drastic reduction in fuel prices when given the nod,” he stated. Mr Barimah said the country saw a five percent reduction in the first two months of the NDC Administration and later the price of petroleum jumped by a 15 percent margin. “Since then the price of fuel in Ghana has increased three conservative times even though the world market price stood at 94 dollars per barrel,” he observed. Mr Yaw Antwi Ababio, a farmer at Dumasua, appealed to the government to intervene as soon as possible so that the rising world crude prices would not affect the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian. Meanwhile, reports reaching the GNA indicate that taxi drivers who plied the Sunyani Municipality have unilaterally increased their fares. They charge GH¢ 0.50 from Sunyani to Abesim, which was GH¢ 0.40 whilst the GH¢ 0.30 taxi fare within Sunyani has been increased to GH¢ 0.40 Evans Kyere Kwame, Assembly Member elect for Ahenboboano Electoral Area, condemned the increment stating that increasing the price without corresponding increase in workers’ salaries could create difficulties for Ghanaian families. He explained that the argument being put across by some government officials that the metro mass transit could be used to cushion the effect of the rising transport fares is not feasible. Mr Stephen Afful, a barber at Kotokrom near Sunyani advised those responsible for fuel price adjustment to ensure that such an important national policy moved simultaneously with the announcement of approved lorry/taxi fares. Mr Afful, popularly known and called “British Jack” expressed concern about the confusion that erupted between some drivers and passengers over the arbitrary increases in fares after the announcement of the new fuel prices. He wondered why Government could not negotiate with Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Metro Mass Transit Company, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, as well as other related institutions over the new fares before making the announcement. He however expressed the hope that the authorities would meet and come out with appropriate fares to meet the expectations of both drivers and passengers.
Source: Ghana News Agency