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Saturday, October 23, 2021

‘They don’t care about us’ – Kofi Kapito slams ‘unannounced’ fuel price hikes


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi Kapito has said that the recent unannounced fuel price increases are a sign that the managers of the countries petroleum sector do not care about Ghanaians.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday, Kofi Kapito stated that in other countries, citizens are constantly informed about changes in the prices of petroleum products, even in instances when the prices are adjusted multiple times a day.

“They don’t care about us. In other jurisdictions, petrol prices would even fluctuate during the day. In the morning it will be one way, in the afternoon it changes and in the evening, it’s different again. But at least there, the media is given ample information to inform the people.”

According to him, Ghanaians need to be informed of the fuel price hikes beforehand, instead of having to find out about the increases when they go to the pumps to fill their tanks.

“I don’t see why, if that’s the case, the media will not have the right to the information for them to tell the public. If they brought it to the media to tell the public that come 5pm, petrol prices will go up, then Ghanaians will be aware that whey they get to the pump, they’ll have to pay more.”

Citi News checks over the weekend revealed that fuel prices in the country have gone up again, the second time in barely two months.

The prices of both petrol and diesel have risen by about 2.76 percent.

The price of petrol and diesel is currently pegged at GH¢5.21 per litre, up from the previous price of GH¢5.07 per litre despite a reduction in the price of crude oil in the international market.

But according to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the latest increase in prices for fuel is as a result of a surge in the price of finished products on the international market.

The Executive Director of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli said on the Citi Breakfast Show that increases witnessed at the various pumps are within the permitted indicative prices.

The price of fuel crossed the GH¢ 5 mark in September.

According to the Institute of Energy Security (IES), the increase was largely due to the depreciation of the cedi.

It said other factors such as the increase in Brent crude contributed to the increase.

Prices of petroleum products had earlier gone up by 2% in August 2018.

TOR recovery debt

Kofi Kapito also raised concerns about the payment of the TOR recovery levy.

He believes that Ghanaians must be told when they will no longer have to pay the levy.

“I’m worried that Ghanaians are still being asked to pay the TOR recovery levy. At the moment we don’t know how much the levy is and how long it’s going to take us to pay. If it’s a levy, we have to pay, I don’t have a problem but let me know whether we’ll finish paying in 10 or 20 years, or even one year.”

“But not knowing when, in perpetuity is not correct. In anyone other jurisdiction, you would be told, your parliamentarian will ask these questions but over here, that is not done.”

The government instituted the TOR Debt Recovery Levy in a bid to clear the massive debt that hanged on TOR as a result of under-recoveries.

In 2015, TOR’s debt was estimated to be more than 1.9 billion.

The Debt Recovery Fund Levy Act 2003 (Act 642) was passed to help finance TOR’s accumulated debt and cater for the company under recovery.

Due to this, a debt recovery levy was subsequently imposed on some petroleum products.

By: Edwin Kwakofi- tnpnewsonline.com

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