The former Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, has vowed to challenge any decision to increase petroleum prices in court.
He said he was ever ready to take that action unless the government produced figures to back up its claim of subsidising fuel prices.
According to Dr Wereko-Brobbey, who is an energy expert, the government had never subsidised fuel and therefore had no justification for raising prices on the premise that it could no longer subsidise fuel prices.
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Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show yesterday, Dr Wereko-Brobbey said, instead, the government placed an additional charge on the price of petrol and these extra funds were used to subsidise the prices of kerosene and other products consumed by the poorest in the country. He pointed out that, “it would be wrong to say that is a government subsidy.”
“If it is 100, they add 20 and such money is used to reduce the cost of kerosene and the rest. Government does not subsidise anything. I’m challenging them to bring the figures to show how they are subsidising it,” he declared.
He said the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was not telling the truth.
“They are lying. I know the calculations that go into the fixing of prices; they cannot claim government is subsidising fuel. I’m daring them to bring the figures to show by how much they are subsidising. I will challenge any increase in court unless they provide the figures to show by how much they are subsidising,” he stated.
The NPA regulates the prices of petroleum products on behalf of the government.
In reaction, however, the Public Relations Officer of the NPA, Mr Yaro Kasamba, insisted that adding a bit to the price of petrol was just a part of the entire subsidy.
He said the government still absorbed part of the cost of ensuring that consumers obtained petroleum products from the importing stage through the point of consumption.
“Dr Wereko-Brobbey is correct, but that is just one aspect of the subsidy,” he said.
Story: Seth J. Bokpe