The price hikes were long predicted. They were thought of even before the psyching up exercise which saw, among others, the National Security Council raising the alarm of sorts about an intensified smuggling of Ghana’s so-called subsidized petroleum products.
The tone of the arguments and demeanour of those putting them across suggested that government had made up its mind to increase the prices of petroleum products, regardless of its inability to prove that there is really a subsidy on the cost of the products as being touted.
Increasing the prices of petroleum products has never been an easy decision to take by governments, more so by a government whose party, when it was in opposition, created the impression, using massive and abrasive propaganda, that there was always an alternative to the hikes. It was an effective albeit morally iniquitous approach to winning power.
When the decision to increase prices of petroleum product is not grounded on convincing and sincere factors, there is cause for worry, which is exactly why most Ghanaians are grumbling.
We are afraid there are hidden underlying factors which informed the decision to leapfrog the prices as announced last Saturday.
The average Ghanaian thinks that the unprecedented campaign bill of the ruling party- in fact the decision to empty the public vault to achieve the ultimate political objective- is responsible for our current sorry fiscal state- a disturbing deficit standing and the hikes.
It is impossible to have the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) resurrected, now that its mandate of just spewing propaganda to have NDC come to power has been achieved, and therefore empathy for Ghanaians is not an option.
The decision to increase the prices of petroleum products at this time, and even before the national conversation on the subject got under way adequately, is a manifestation about how empty the public purse is.
A good government takes decisions on behalf of the people, taking varied factors into consideration; that is what makes a good or bad government. Shouldn’t government take another look at its scale of preference and reprioritize its expenditure?
A political pressure grouping, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), has already voiced its disdain for the proposed price increase before the eventual announcement, given what for it is the ill-timing of the project.
We too associate ourselves with the timing. It is a time when most Ghanaians are suffering the pangs of the harsh economic system, especially when no mitigating measures would be rolled out.
With the recent appointment of a horde of government appointees and therefore the many Landcruisers that await them alongside the fuel freebies, the angst of Ghanaians following the announcement is understandable.
Is the drastic reduction of the price of petroleum products no longer a government policy? Now we know that campaign trail promises by the NDC are nothing but tricks or even uncanny ruses.
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
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