Aside

Solidarity with Ghanaian drivers striking today

Solidarity with all the trotro and taxi drivers striking today in Ghana because of yet MORE fuel price hikes – 27% this year alone thanks to the government and the IMF. Tax now constitutes 70% of the fuel price.

I know reliance on oil and government subsidies are not sustainable, but it’s ridiculous that for the rest of the world the cost per barrel is going down (US$38 a barrel on the world market yesterday) and here it’s costing GH¢15 (US$3.8) per gallon. Compare that to the US where it’s currently US$2 a gallon.

This is a country that produces oil but is forced to process it elsewhere because the refinery has been closed down due to indebtedness and ‘maintenance’ issues. Ghanaians are STILL paying for the debt of the Tema Oil Refinery in their fuel taxes (yes, even though it’s not functioning).

For a litre of fuel, which today costs roughly GH¢3.9 (roughly US$1) the taxes per litre now constitute the following:

  • Excise duty – 2.78 pesewas
  • Energy Debt Recovery Levy – 41 pesewas (To pay the debt for the Tema Oil Refinery)
  • Road Fund Levy – 40 pesewas
  • Energy Fund Levy – 1 pesewa (Intended to be spent on renewable energy projects – although things aren’t looking good)
  • Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy – 12 pesewas (established to be used as a buffer for under-recoveries in the petroleum sector, stabilise petroleum prices for consumers)
  • Primary Distribution Margin – 4.5 pesewas
  • BOST (Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited) Margin – 3 pesewas
  • Fuel Marketing Margin – 1.5 pesewas
  • And in addition – 17.5% VAT on product price

Between January 2011 and June 2015 the Ghanaian Government bagged GH¢3.2 billion from taxes imposed on petroleum products. Many Ghanaians are wondering where that money has been spent.

For instance, while the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Debt Recovery Levy generated over GH¢1.6 billion within the four-and-half years, the refinery remains closed due to huge indebtedness.

Data examined by The Finder indicates that within the same period, an amount of GH¢880 million also accrued from the Road Fund to the state, yet roads in the country are in deplorable state.

Source: http://www.newsghana.com.gh/taxes-alone-constitute-70-of-fuel-cost-in-ghana/

Read more about the protests in January – http://dailypost.ng/2016/01/20/ghana-workers-protest-hike-in-fuel-price-utility-tariffs/

People rely on fuel to live – they cannot afford these taxes without alternative support.

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