The general comfort of people living in Ghana is the basic priority of their President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and so it can never be the interest of the H.E Nana Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to see the citizenry go through any suffering. The many policies and initiatives by this NPP led Government which have been aimed at easing the social and economic burdens of the populace such as the transfer of the over six years outstanding GH¢3.1 billion of the Tier 2 pension funds into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions, the settlement of most of the accrued debt of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the School feeding program, the restoration of the training college allowance, the removal of the Kayayo levy and the 17.5% VAT on Financial Services, the planting for food and job, the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, and others all testify that it would be the last thing for the President to deliberately attempt pushing the citizens of Ghana through any hardship.
The current pricing of petroleum products in the country is determined by the Deregulation Policy which is calculated by a body which is very independent of Government’s control. The major factors for the petroleum products’ price determination are; the value of the Cedi with respect to the US Dollar, the international market price of Crude oil and the Petroleum Taxes imposed by Government. Out of these major factors, it is only the international price of the crude oil that the government can not directly or indirectly help in its manipulation.
On Wednesday, 7th February, 2018, a day before the President of Ghana presented his 2018 State Of The Nation Address (SONA), the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) together with the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) registered their displeasure with what they described as the persistent increase in the prices of petroleum products in the country through a demonstration. Even though it was their constitutional right, it was still unfair to the government because of COPEC and ICU’s knowledge of the many options such as the stabilization of the Ghana currency and the removal of some of the petroleum taxes, which have been pushed and still being pushed in place to help reduce and stabilize the petroleum products’ prices in the country.
Again, it was unjustifiable because these two groups were/are very aware of the fact that;
Firstly, the current price hikes have been as a result of the consistent international market price increases of crude oil, of which the government has no direct control over.
Secondly, the taxes they are calling for their removal would be very difficult to get them scrapped due to government’s inclusion in its revenue projections, and as a result will spell doom for the country and its citizens if they are taken off.
Lastly, it is worthy of note that one of the major factors which directly affects the cost of doing business is the prices of petroleum products, so why then will a government who has creation of jobs especially through the private sector; through convincing of investors for huge projects, and other policies such as the one district one factory (1D1F) and the planting for food and job, very high on his agenda ever attempt sabotaging this agenda of his through an intentional keeping of petroleum products’ prices very high? Logically, it only points to a clear evidence that, it could, and can never be on purpose on the part of this government.
Further more, despite the demonstration being very unsuccessful due to the fact that it was only about eighty out of the over twenty-five million people in the country who partook in the March, which is believed to have happened because of Ghanaians’ knowledge of the good motives of H.E Nana Addo with regards to the welfare of Ghanaians, some of us who have a firm belief that the best chance for Ghana’s development can only be under an NPP government will still plead with COPEC, ICU and other such interest groups who have no other interest aside a national one to have patience with the government because this government is a listening one, and is also one who is more than poised to work around the situation for the wellbeing of everyone in Ghana.
Hhhmm, may God be praised always
Nana Kwadwo Akwaa
00233246913905 / 00233209676413
Member, Critical Thinkers International
NPP Activist, Kwadaso Constituency