A former Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, has urged commercial drivers who are unhappy with fuel price hikes and have threatened to strike to exercise restraint.
Members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union on Tuesday tagged their vehicles with red bands as they urged the government to reduce fuel prices.
The drivers acted in compliance with a directive from their national leaders ahead of a possible strike over the cost of fuel.
The drivers threatened to ultimately increase transport fares if their concerns fell on deaf ears.
In an interview on Face to Face on Citi TV, Mr. Amewu argued that several factors, including global supply and demand of crude oil, are responsible for the hike in fuel prices and not the government.”
“The only single-traded international commodity is petrol. Petrol is not a regionalised commodity. It is universally priced. What affects petrol prices in other places affects us. Globally, we are out of cheap oil where oils have been recovered from lower levels. Oil prices globally keep increasing.”
“During the COVID pandemic, crude oil was trading a bit lower because of low economic activities. Now, most of these economies are recovering from the COVID-19 and so the demand is a bit high. That alone has put some pressure on the commodity.”
“The taxes on fuel can be reduced, but the point is we are crying for development. And government alone cannot develop the country. We all do. All government does is supervise the monies it gets. The only way government can do this is when citizens bring their contributions.”
He urged commercial drivers to “first discuss their intention to increase transport fares with the transport minister.”
“It is not only the fuel that constitutes the pricing of the transport system. A lot of things go in. Their spare parts, maintenance amongst others, and the fact remains that as fuel prices increase, all of these will also increase.”
“As to whether or not they will also be allowed to increase transport fares, they all have to be discussed. I sympathize with them alright, but I think it’ll be better they use the right channels,” he added.
Currently, most oil marketing companies in Ghana sell fuel around GH¢ 6.90 per litre.
Fuel prices in 2021 started at about GH¢ 5 per litre and are now threatening to cross the GH¢ 7 mark.