About Petrol Price Increase (2)

When I was growing up as a little girl, the availability, scarcity or the price of fuel was not an issue because at that time there weren’t enough vehicles and the country had not seen an influx of factories or private industries that were reliant on fuel with the exception of the state owned enterprises established by Kwame Nkrumah. Most of those factories drew their energy supply from the hydro-electric dam (Akosombo). Today the story is different and all manner of machinery rely on fuel as their source of power. The daily traffic jams we see in town must give us an idea about the number of vehicles which are being driven on our roads reflecting the fast pace of economic growth. I therefore plead with the central government to put measures in place to ensure that this commodity is made readily available at all times and not at an exceedingly exorbitant cost to the consumers because it has become a necessity just like water is.”

Kwe! My friend, you know something, Professor Mills has come and he is here to stay. It was the people of Ghana who after many years of struggle, intimidation, and harassment and in their state of hopelessness decided to place their faith in that man. Anybody who says anything mischievous or wishes the Professor bad luck would lose his teeth and tongue and never would he taste the benefits of the Action Year. I am a taxi driver and have driven to many parts of this country over the past 20 years and I can say with all sincerity that never has there been any massive infrastructural development in this country. The level at which roads are being constructed is high and simply amazing. What did they do with the eight long years we gave them? This man hasn’t made a quarter of his eight years and they say what? What scandals or crimes have the Professor committed that he must be stoned to death? Look here my friend, we have been called upon to make sacrifices towards the development of our dear country and I and my household have responded to the call. No sacrifices under the leadership of Professor Mills can be too much! ”

Currently we are developed as a country and we have attained the middle income status. There can be no doubting the fact that there would definitely be a surge in the demand for fuel. But, how do we deliver this product to the consumers at rates they can afford in spite of the taxes we might have to place on them in order to raise revenue? These are the relevant questions we need to find answers to. Is it possible to look elsewhere in search of that needed revenue for national development? Ghana is a big country with vast resources which must be exploited towards the emancipation of our people from poverty and disease. What has happened to all these and who are in control of these resources?  Multi-national co operations have been smuggled into this country sometimes under very strange circumstances and are making super profits at the expense of the many suffering people most of whom a three square meal a day and access to health care is a luxury. Let’s give hope to our people.”

Well as a matter of right we need to demand a reduction in the just announced prices of fuel. There is certainly going to be a strangulation of the economy. Prices of goods and services are expected to rise and in all of this the workers are going to be those who will be most affected. The employers who cannot afford to pay them would drive them away and with the weak labour laws we have in the country, the few who remain would be forced to strain themselves in order to keep supply to the market. They suffer most in these times because their employers have only in mind the need to make mega profit and they wouldn’t mind to maltreat the workers in order to do that. There must certainly be a reduction in the price of fuel.”

I am not very happy with the way politics has been run in this country over the past 20 years. Our leaders must stand for every word they tell us when seeking our mandate. It is common knowledge that the price of petrol was a major campaign issue in this country during the last elections. And all the parties had their view of how to manage this particular resource. Then, we knew that the country imported crude, we knew that there are ups and downs on the international markets. None of the excuses they are giving us today didn’t exist. We wanted someone who could in spite of these difficulties manage the condition so that the people didn’t have to suffer its repercussions when the going got tough. President Mills must insist that there should be a certain reduction in the margins because he made a promise which got him votes and he must fulfill it.”
We are traders and we rely on transportation to bring our foodstuffs to the city. Where the roads are bad we face untold hardships in bringing down these goods. It so happens that any increment in the price of fuel compels us to pay more for transportation and this particular increase is a little too much. We must also have a system where the prices of particular commodities are fixed in order that traders do not take advantage of fuel price increases and inflate the prices of goods.”

I believe any increment should have been between the ranges of 15 to 20%. The current percentage increase is a bit too high especially when people are just returning from the end of year festivities. Parents are going to pay fees and you can also expect an increase in the water and electricity bills because of these festivities which kept the homes very busy. Moreover, I do not agree with those who think that increasing the price of fuel can be the only way of raising revenue. Is it because everyone patronizes the commodity that we are placing all our burdens on it? Come on, we need to start thinking guided by our past experiences as a nation.”

Over the past weeks there were hints in the media about an impending petroleum price increase and therefore I believe to a large extent the majority of Ghanaians were expecting this increment. However, the 30% increase is completely too much and steps must be taken to reduce it to a minimum. Of course, a commodity which we do not have and must be imported must sometimes come with certain difficulties. That is where the ingenuity of our leaders must come in to cushion the people against the ripple effects, either than that there would be no reason to have a government.”


Popular posts from this blog