Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi says the frequent hikes in petroleum prices in Ghana is a result of “very weak policy planning by successive governments.”
His comment follows recent increases in the price of fuel, leading to a spike in the cost of living.
According to Mr. Hosi, successive governments have only focused on the revenue-generating benefit of petroleum, but failed to consider the social implications of taxes on the ordinary Ghanaian.
“Government today is raising close to GHC7 billion annually from petroleum taxes. Petroleum accounts for more than 12% of our total domestic tax revenue; it’s a very important tax-generating feature in our fiscal structure,” Mr. Hosi says.
“Petroleum has just been seen as a cash cow by most governments. They have lost their sense of assessment, as far as the socio-economic implications and place of petroleum is concerned,” he told PM Express’ Evans Mensah on Joy News on Tuesday evening.
The CBOD CEO advised government to hedge fuel revenue as a cushion strategy to protect Ghanaians from the socio-economic impact of increasing fuel prices. He says a well-managed public transport system will also help alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians when world petroleum prices go up.
“What I expect government to do is to invest in diversifying and deepening our mass transportation sector,” Mr. Hosi says.
“It makes no sense that after 65 years of independence, the country is unable to boast of a rail network that connects major towns across the country to each other. We are all on the roads, [using] minibuses, which are more expensive to run.”