Ghanaians will be poorer if fuel taxes are not reversed – Head of Research at COPEC

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Ghana— Head of Research at the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Benjamin Nsiah, has said the country’s National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has become a drain to Ghanaians because of the planned increment of fuel taxes amid harsh effects of Covid-19 on businesses and individuals.

Nsiah was speaking during an interview with a local media where he explained that petroleum products are infinite and affect the prices of goods and services, therefore it will not be advisable for their prices to be increased.

“Government has seen that petroleum products are infinite and no matter how much they increase their (Petroleum products) prices, Ghanaians will still buy them.” He said.

He added, “When this happens, the trotro driver will increase lorry fares, traders will also increase the price of their goods. The ordinary Ghanaian will now suffer more because they will pay more for the same product or pay more for less”

The head of research at COPEC, in his authority, objected to the attempts to simply continue adding taxes and unnecessary margins on the fuel price build-up which only adds to the increasing hardships on citizens.

“We are by this calling on authorities to reign in the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to immediately withdraw these new add-ons as any attempts to force these unilateral increases by the NPA using the backdoor on Ghanaians will be steeply resisted”, he added.

A press release from the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers sighted that:

COPEC Ghana predicted that the country is on the verge of being hit with another astronomical increase in the cost of fuel at the pumps effective 1 May 2021.

Contrary to these outlooks, the 2021 budget indicated some upward reviews on two taxes namely the Energy Sector Recovery Levy and Sanitation and Pollution levy of 20p/litre and 10p/litre respectively totalling 30 Pper litre

 As though these two additions which have met a lot of public resistance and misgivings were not enough, the National Petroleum Authority unilaterally has also added another 17p cumulative to the already neck-breaking 30p/litre and this is also expected to take effect from tomorrow together with the parliamentary approved 30p/litre.

 Bost margin has been increased by the NPA by 100% from the current 6p/litre to 12p/litre, whiles UPPF has been increased from 27p to 30/litre, Primary Distribution Margin has been increased from 8p to 11p/litre and Fuels marking Margin has also been increased from 3p to 8p/litre

 What this means is that the NPA unilaterally has added in excess of 3.2% on current pump prices in addition to the 5.5% new taxes from the 2021 budget. This leads to a fuel price increment of about 8.7% of current prices.

Whiles, it is on record the country is losing billions of cedis in revenue to the fuel smuggling phenomenon and for which reason we think comprehensive efforts by the state should be directed at blocking the cartel engaged in this act to deliver the needed revenues to the state.