COPEC intensifies pressure on NPA over 15% petroleum tax; threatens another protest

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) says it will hit the streets in the coming days if the petroleum sector regulator fails to scrap the 15% Special Petroleum Tax.

COPEC last Wednesday led a demonstration over the increasing price of petroleum products, which they say has brought hardship on Ghanaians.

Following that demonstration, Chief Executive officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, disclosed on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis show Newsfile that the government is considering to fix the Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) at a specific amount instead of a percentage of the ex-depot price.

The move, the NPA boss believes, will beat down the price of petrol and diesel especially.

Major oil marketing companies such as Total, Goil and Shell have increased their prices by some 4 pesewas, meaning a litre each of petrol or diesel sells at around to GHS4, 67 pesewas.

However, COPEC has rejected the proposal insisting it should be scrapped entirely.

Executive Secretary of COPEC says if the government fails to scrap the unpopular tax within three weeks, the Chamber, with support from the Industrial and Commercial-Workers Union (ICU) will stage a second demonstration.

“We are saying that scrap the SPT until such a time when world market prices…together with what the government projections in its own budget have a certain gap that the government can make up for,” he said.

The NDC government introduced the SPT in 2014 when the price of crude on the international market was hitting record low figures.

The government at the time felt that there was a need to introduce the tax to stabilise the ex-pump prices and to cushion revenue generated from the sector.

It was initially pegged at 17.5% but the current government under President Nana Akufo-Addo reduced it to 15% as part his administration’s effort to review and abolish some selected taxes.

The current government explained that the review of taxes is part of efforts to move from the economy from tax-dominated to production.

The NPA has held its ground about the taxes despite complains it is adding to the high cost of fuel, arguing that the removal of the SPT for instance, would create holes in the government revenue.