The Minority in Parliament is demanding at least 20% reduction in the prices of petroleum products. The reduction, it said, is imperative in view of the challenges facing Ghanaians in the light of measures introduced by government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The demand, the Minority insists, takes into consideration the fall in crude oil and petrol prices on the international market over the last two weeks. In the past couple of weeks, crude oil prices have fallen by over 31% while petrol prices have seen over 50% reduction on the world market.
Ranking Member of the Committee on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakily who made the call stressed that the lockdown announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo has further worsened the burden of Ghanaians, especially small and medium scale enterprises.
“A significant reduction in the prices of fuels in therefore non-negotiable as the pandemic is exacting a toll on businesses with most companies scaling down their operations and others laying-off workers,” he stated.
He recalled that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and COPEC had earlier demanded 20% reduction of petroleum products but the drop announced on 17th March 2020 was just 4.7%.
This, he said, is far lower than the 15% even promised by the Minister for Energy and the Chief Executive of the NPA.
Mr. Mutawakilu stated that since the close of the second week of March 2020 prices of crude and finished products have continued to tumble on the international markets.
“The Minority Caucus has analysed the trends in prices of crude and petroleum products since the beginning of the year and is of the firm belief that prices at the pumps should be reduced by at least 20%.”
This, he said, is evidenced in the analysis of international oil prices vis-a-vis local market prices, which shows that from Jan to March the price of Brent Crude has dropped by 61%, petrol 66%, and diesel 50%.
He argued that on the local market, however, within the same period petrol has only seen 9.5% reduction and diesel 9.5% while the cedi depreciated by only 6%.
He stressed that the least government can do at this critical stage to mitigate the suffering and hardship of the average Ghanaian is to reduce fuel prices by at least 20%.
This, he said, should be relative to the massive drop in the price of crude and finished products on the international market, which are currently not reflecting at the pumps.