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Use profit from petroleum resources to cushion citizenry - Minority to government

BY: Daniel Kenu
John Abdulai Jinapor, Minority spokesperson on Energy addressing journalists at Parliament yesterday
John Abdulai Jinapor, Minority spokesperson on Energy addressing journalists at Parliament yesterday

The Minority in Parliament has urged the government to use the profit it has made from petroleum resources to cushion Ghanaians against the escalating cost of living.

According to the Minority, contrary to claims by the government that the Russia war on Ukraine was impacting negatively on the Ghanaian economy, it was rather benefiting the country in terms of revenue generation.

The Minority spokesperson on Energy, John Abdulai Jinapor, told a press conference in Parliament yesterday that in the 2022 budget, government projected to receive GH¢ 6 billion from the petroleum resources for the year but in less than three months, it had received over GH¢ 8 billion.

"So in three months, government has received more than it has projected for the whole year," he said.

Quoting from the Public Interest and Accountability Committee's (PIAC) report as well as from the Ministry of Finance own reports, Mr Jinapor, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei-Kusawgu, said unfortunately, fuel prices in the country had increased by 300 per cent in less than one year from an initial GH¢6.5 per a litre.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is sad to say that fuel is even more costly than the minimum wage," he said.


Stabilisation levy

Mr Jinapor, backed by his colleague MPs said even the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy which was supposed to subsidise fuel and cushion the lives of Ghanaians was not materialising.

He said the government projected that in the first and second quarters of the year, it would receive GH¢269 million. "But as we speak, and from the Minister of Finance's own record, it indicated that it has received GH¢800 million.”

"So this notion that government is not making money is a fallacy and a complete falsehood, " he added.

Action

He therefore, called on the government to do something about the constant fuel price increments to cushion Ghanaians.

"They should sit up and think outside the box and apply this huge super abnormal profit to cushion the ordinary Ghanaian," the minority said.

Mr Jinapor alluded to the fact that the cascading effect of the high prices of fuel was affecting almost every facet of society, including food and general services making life unbearable in the country.

"President Akufo Addo, this is not what you promised Ghanaians.

"The President said he was going to give us cheaper fuel. The question is from where.?And strangely, he did not give any timelines. He must provide a practical solution to the country's challenges."

"The nation is going through difficult times. Indeed, some have said we are in a deep hole but I think we are in a gulley," Mr Jinapor said.

He said people were going through extreme poverty adding that one would have thought that after the President's address to the nation last Sunday, things would have gotten better but that was not the case.