The National Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Kwame Kuma has disclosed that the 0.2 per cent increment on fuel prices will not cause an upward adjustment in transport fares.
According to Mr Kuma, the recent increase is nowhere near the agreed-on 10 per cent threshold to warrant an increase in transport fares.
Speaking to an Accra based radio station Okay FM, Mr Kuma intimated that even though the increase will reflect in a marginal decrease in the quantity of fuel purchased at the pumps by drivers that however should not have any direct impact on fares in the country.
“It is just a 0.2 per cent increment, so there is no way this is going to affect transport fares, as the increase has yet not reached the 10 per cent threshold as per arrangements we have with the Ministry of Transport”, said the GPRTU boss.
The NPP government since assuming office has reduced the Special Petroleum Tax rate from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent in 2017 and further to 13 per cent in 2018 and reduced the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levies from December last year.
Mr Kuma however, urged the government to do more to further reduce the prices of fuel.
“Government has to do more to ensure that fuel prices remain stable and affordable. We are not saying the government should bear all the cost but at least help us a little by taking some of the cost of the drivers”, Mr Kuma added.
He further called on drivers not to increase transport fares as the union is still in consultations with the Transport Ministry.
Meanwhile, some drivers and citizens are outraged over the latest increase in fuel prices.
Starr News’ checks at some fuel stations Tuesday showed that a litre of diesel and petrol are being sold at GH¢5.18 and GH¢5.14 respectively.
The increase was in line with predictions by the Institute of Energy Securities (IES) over the weekend that fuel prices would go beyond GH¢5 to a litre based on its research on the second pricing window.
“Petrol for 5 cedis…it’s not easy. It’s just too much so at least they have to look at it. It’s not easy my brother, 5 cedis petrol. Even now we are crying and then buying petrol for 5 cedis,” a driver told Starr News’ Eric Mawuena Egbeta.
The IES is predicting further hikes in the prices of fuel as the cedi continuous to struggle against its major trading currencies.
The cedi has recorded massive losses against the dollar, the latest being last week where it hit GH¢4.97 to the dollar. It followed a July fall where it traded at GH¢4.8250 to the dollar depreciating cumulatively, by 5.3 per cent in the first six months, compared to 3.3 per cent in the first half of 2017 despite significant increments of weekly dollar sales to local banks in the country.