The Founder and Leader of the All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Hassan Ayariga has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to scrap the over 40 percent taxes on petroleum products to free Ghanaians from the excruciating hardship Ghanaians are gulping with.
According to him an assessment of the current price build-up indicates that there is a tax component of about 40% on every liter of petrol.
Here are some of the “hilarious” taxes on a liter of petrol:
v Liter of Fuel taxes and levies
v Energy debt recovery levy 49p
v Road fund levy 48p
v Energy fund levy 1p
v Price stabilization & Recovery levy 14p
v Sanitation & Pollution levy 10p
v Energy sector recovery levy 20p
v Special petroleum tax 46p
v Primary distribution margin 11p
v BOST margin 9p
v Fuel marking margin 5p
v Marketers margin 46p
v Dealer (Retailer/ Operations margin) 30p
The Founder and Leader of the APC suggested that the government as a matter of urgency revamp Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) by way of investing heavily for TOR to operate at its fullest capacity.
“Government must put security measures to make sure they are no loopholes in the distribution of refined fuel. If necessary a serious management team should take over and overseas proper management of TOR. Our crude should be given to us to refine and all other industry players must refine their share of the crude in Ghana. If we begin to refine our products it will help regulate and stabilize our Ghana Cedi.
“Government again should control the market by importing the products at a lower cost and take off all taxes and levies which constitutes 40 % of the price build-up and control the price of fuel by allowing GOIL to determine fuel prices. GOIL should be the market leader. Most OMCs take or displayed their price after GOIL” he noted
The Founder and Leader of the APC also expressed disappointment in the clergy, Peace Council, and some Civil Society Organizations (CSO) for keeping silent about the serious hardship that Ghanaians are going through under the leadership of the President Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
“Our country is on its knees due to the silence from the clergy, peace council, and some civil society organizations whose voices have always been loud enough at other times but have suddenly gone to sleep and not awaken. What has changed? Let’s rise above pettiness and greed. Let’s speak truth to power and save our country from sinking”.
Dr. Hassan Ayariga made the call today, July 7, 20227, 2022 at a press conference held by the APC at its headquarters in Accra to add his voice to that of other well-meaning Ghanaians on the many challenges confronting the nation and proffered solutions to those challenges.
Dr. Ayariga indicated that many Ghanaians are suffering and cannot even afford three square meals a day adding that, the hardship is killing people slowly.
“Let’s not be afraid and refuse to talk on behalf of our people who do not have a voice of their own. The indiscipline is one too many and something must be done now to curb the situation before it gets to an uncontrollable situation. Fuel prices and other utility tariffs are on the rise almost every day, transport fares are increasing every day and thereby worsening the plight of the citizens. The cost of goods and services keeps rising as if there is no economic management team in government. Rising energy prices, tougher financial conditions, and rising food prices have hit our economy badly. Many are in deplorable situations and a looming state of state collapse”.
According to him, the economy of Ghana is now looking terrible and the government is owing every sector to the extent that some institutions have even gone on strike.
“Let’s embrace ourselves for the worse, especially job creation. Salaries are still the same, and foodstuffs and groceries are increasing every hour and every day. A ball of kenkey is now sold for three (3) Cedis which cannot even feed an eleven (11) year old child. Times are hard my brothers and sisters”.
Below is the full statement:
PRESS CONFERENCE BY DR. HASSAN AYARIGA FOUNDER & LEADER OF THE ALL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS (APC) ON THE 7TH OF JULY 2022 ON THE WAY FORWARD FOR OUR NATION GHANA.
Mr. Chairman, National and Regional executive members of our party (APC), the media, fellow countrymen and women, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to you all.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you so much for attending this very important press briefing even at very short notice. Your unflinching support in strengthening our democracy, and safeguarding and protecting our constitution has been tremendous. You are undoubtedly the real voice of the voiceless.
I called you here today in my capacity as a citizen first before my party, the All People’s Congress (APC). The day has come for me to add my voice and speak up to power as done by many others.
This press conference today is to wield into the many challenges confronting our nation and proffered solutions to those challenges. A wise man once said and I quote:
Hard times create strong men
Strong men create easy times
Easy times create weak men
Weak men create difficult times
Difficult times create parasites
But what we need is to create warriors, visionary leaders, and not parasites.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, I want to ask a humble question. What is the future of our country like? How would you define Ghana’s democracy today? The future of our country is that if we don’t take care, we will destroy our nation from within and the future generation will have nothing to build on when they take over.
Our country is on its knees due to the silence from the clergy, peace council, and some civil society organizations whose voices have always been loud enough at other times but have suddenly gone to sleep and not awaken. What has changed? Let’s rise above pettiness and greed. Let’s speak truth to power and save our country from sinking.
Ghanaians are suffering, many cannot even afford three square meals a day. The hardship is killing people slowly. Let’s not be afraid and refuse to talk on behalf of our people who do not have a voice of their own. The indiscipline is one too many and something must be done now to curb the situation before it gets to an uncontrollable situation. Fuel prices and other utility tariffs are on the rise almost every day, transport fares are increasing every day and thereby worsening the plight of the citizens. The cost of goods and services keeps rising as if there is no economic management team in government. Rising energy prices, tougher financial conditions, and rising food prices have hit our economy badly. Many are in deplorable situations and a looming state of state collapse.
The economy of Ghana is really looking terrible, the government owes every sector. Some institutions have gone on strike.
Let’s embrace ourselves for the worse, especially in job creation. Salaries are still the same, and foodstuffs and groceries are increasing every hour and every day. A ball of kenkey is now sold for three (3) Cedis which cannot even feed an eleven (11) year old child. Times are hard my brothers and sisters.
The recent rainfall which led to flooding in most areas especially, in Ashanti and part of the Greater Accra region has exposed how inept we are planning. What have we learned from the June 3rd disaster that shocked the nation and took the lives of many innocent people and lost properties? We spent millions of dollars to waste management companies, yet we cannot manage waste. Look at our streets and gutters, all chocked with debris. The assemblies have excavators at their disposals
Yet when it rains their buildings get flooded.
We train engineers every year yet we don’t engage them in the productive sector to delve into our numerous and urgent issues of town planning, and enhancing laws to prevent people from building on waterways which cause blockage of the free flow of water. We all need to be part of nation-building through advocacy and speak against the culture of silence which is a reality.
Ladies and gentlemen, Urban flooding has become a major problem in many parts of the world due to its social, economic, and environmental impact. Ghana is not an exception when it comes to urban flooding. Ghana recorded an unprecedented flood event in November 2010, which affected 55 communities and displaced 700,000 people. Additionally, 3,234 houses were destroyed while 23,588 acres of farmlands were submerged.
Regardless of the effects of floods on the citizenry every year, not until strong institutions are built to ensure the enforcement of regulative measures. We will continue to wallow in flood-related crises. We need to construct drainage systems to link all waterways and channel them into the Sea, build a very solid sea defense system, expand all our gutters, and desilt our waterways.
We have to construct community catchment areas to hold some of the volumes of rainwater when there is heavy downpours. We must include structural flood protection measures like storm drains and the construction of floodways linking communities. We should adopt ways of dredging our nation before the rains start.
Our public debt stock is 81% of GDP. We have mortgaged all our mineral resources and natural resources for loans. Our debt stock is at its highest peak and one would wonder how we got there? We can’t continue borrowing when we can manage our country without borrowing.
The inflation today is 27.6% making us the sixth (6) in the world. Ghana is breaking down.
Ghana’s fiscal deficit in 2018 and 2019 was the highest in the entire West African sub-region.
The exception for 2017 was being the second highest in the West African sub-region behind Cape Verde. 2020’s fiscal deficit of 15.7%, again was the highest in the West African sub-region and the second highest in the entire Sub-Sahara African region behind Seychelles.
Clearly, looking at the trend of upward trajectory since 2017, this has nothing to do with COVID-19. We were already in a mess before COVID-19.
On Friday, July 1 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave instructions to the Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta to commence the engagements with the IMF following a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Ghana is seeking an IMF bailout for the seventeenth time. Former President John Mahama and the NDC took Ghana to IMF Ghana program in 2015. Today we are again heading to IMF for another bailout program.
Ghana’s Economic downturn started even before the arrival of Covid-19 and both the IMF and the World Bank have echoed it in their reports. Ghana’s swift journey to the IMF collaborates with the fact that both the NPP and NDC have nothing to offer our beloved Country Ghana.
The government is arguing that our economy is performing terribly because of COVID-19 and Russia’s evasion of Ukraine. I, however, wish to ask, is the impact of COVID-19 and the Russian war against Ukraine exclusively a situation against Ghana? How can global phenomena skip Côte d’Ivoire and all the surrounding countries and ONLY attack Ghana, how, how does it happen?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the NPP in 2017 outdoored the much-touted Economic management team Chaired by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Senior minister Yaw Osafo Marfo as Vice-Chair. Other Members are Ken Ofori Atta, minister for finance, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, John Peter Amewu, Minister of Energy, Professor George Gyan Baffour, Minister for Planning, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, Minister of Trade and industry and Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation with Joe Amoako Tuffour as the team’s Secretary.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the all-knowing Economy management team headed by the Economic Messiah Dr. Bawumia failed to deliver after a series of audacious promises to transform Ghana from Consumption to Production and arrest the ‘Dollar’. The NPP again dissolved the Economic management team after a series of setbacks and Constituted a committee of over 20 Eminent Persons to manage Ghana’s ailing economy. The Committee performed worse than the Bawumia-led Economic management team.
The government needs to embrace all-inclusive governance model practices to embrace diversity to grow the economy. Get nonperforming ministers out. Hold all office executives accountable for their stewardship. Adapt best economic models that drive value for money outcomes and avoid investments that do not yield positive outcomes.
We have borrowed to the extent that we cannot borrow again. Ghana has been downgraded to C which means we cannot pay debts when we borrow.”
Our country is not only broke but bankrupt. We’ve become so incredible to the extent that nobody is willing to lend us money. Can you imagine that we’ve mortgaged everything that we have for the next generation for borrowing and you think we’ve done well in 65 years?”
Because of Moody’s downgrade, Ghana cannot raise funds internally to support its balance of deficit, because no one is willing to buy our bonds when we float them. A reason for IMF bailout.
We are not generating enough income, so we were downgraded to C by Moody’s rating agency. Therefore we are not credible to raise enough money. E-Levy has become a disaster and hence the need to go for IMF bailouts to restore credibility to get some internally generated resources. IMF comes in purely for stabilization, the balance of payment support, and liquidity support. There’s no free lunch anywhere. Our government keeps giving conflicting figures and IMF will need accurate information and figures for a bailout.
The turnaround of the NPP Government for an IMF bailout it’s disappointing to a greater number of Ghanaians due to previous statements made by the finance minister honorable Ken Ofori Atta and the president that, their government will never seek for IMF program as a road map for economic liberation. But what has changed? It is very obvious that mismanagement of funds through corruption has left the government with no other option but to turn to the IMF for a bailout.
Going to IMF for a bailout is not the major problem but our concern and worry is that with this same group of corrupt officials the story will remain unchanged with funds from the IMF.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, JP Morgan warned that Oil prices ‘could reach” stratospheric” $380 a barrel if Russia cuts supplies further. Ghana needs to refine its crude before attributing its Economic downturn to the Russia-Ukraine war. Ghana has not donated money nor weapons to Ukraine or Russia to have the Locus to complain more than Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Germany who depend heavily on Russian oil and Gas.
Government should resource the Tema Oil Refinery and set up more refineries to refine some of the oil produced here. It would help bring down the cost of fuel prices instead of exporting the crude and later importing the refined oil at a higher cost.
Currently, most of all petroleum products in the country are imported. The malfunctioning of the Tema oil Refinery (TOR), has intensified the country’s dependency on the international market. Because all fuel is imported from outside the country, the exchange rate plays a major role in the price build-up of every liter of fuel.
The government is left with two (2) options to mitigate and control the cost of fuel in this country;
Government must invest in revamping Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to the fullest capacity. Government must put security measures to make sure they are no loopholes in the distribution of refined fuel. If necessary a serious management team should take over and overseas proper management of TOR. Our crude should be given to us to refine and all other industry players must refine their share of the crude in Ghana. If we begin to refine our products it will help regulate and stabilize our Ghana Cedi.
Government should control the market by importing the products at a lower cost and take off all taxes and levies which constitute 40 % of the price build-up and control the price of fuel by allowing GOIL to determine fuel prices. GOIL should be the market leader. Most OMCs take or displayed their price after GOIL
An assessment of the current price build-up indicates that for every liter of petrol now sold at Gh6.90 there was a tax component of Gh2.70 constituting about 40% of the total price build-up
Liter of Fuel taxes and levies
Energy debt recovery levy 49p
Road fund levy 48p
Energy fund levy 1p
Price stabilization & Recovery levy 14p
Sanitation & Pollution levy 10p
Energy sector recovery levy 20p
Special petroleum tax 46p
Primary distribution margin 11p
BOST margin 9p
Fuel marking margin 5p
Marketers margin 46p
Dealer (Retailer/ Operations margin) 30p
We need all well-meaning Ghanaians to build nonpartisan consensus to navigate alternative ways of making life more comfortable for our people. The price of fuel in Ghana today remains one of the highest in Africa, meanwhile, we are a fuel economy.
In accounting, we learned of make or buy options of applying scarce resource allocation between two competing projects and their socio-economic benefits. Why are we pretending we don’t know how to make life better for Ghanaians? May the Lord grant all of us wisdom? If a farmer decides not to cook his own produce for his family then he will always buy food from outside and it will be more expensive for his family than cooking himself. This is an example of what is happening to us as Ghanaians.
I believe we can decide to take crude oil as our returns from the Oil exploration and process it at a competitive price and sell it to Ghanaians than importing the final processed oil from abroad.
The All People’s Congress APC is not against taxation but our concern and worry are about the mismanagement of funds accrued from taxation.
While wages of the Ghanaian worker remain static, with almost all labor unions up in arms over poor wages in the wake of worsening economic hardships, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government continues to impose killer taxes on the already burdened taxpayer. The current situation demands tax holidays for young businesses to strive. Government must check Underpayment and evading taxes at various borders. The activities of CEPS and Ghana Revenue Services must be regulated and scrutinized. Trillions are lost to the state as a result of corrupt revenue collectors.
Restaurants, shopping malls, filling stations, and shops charge taxes that don’t reflect in our revenue books. The revenue authorities must regulate the activities of all these businesses and make sure that revenue is collected on behalf of the government rather than imposing new taxes on its citizens.
President Nana Addo has failed to transform his sloganeering campaign promises into reality
because excessive borrowing to service debt dovetailed with the fact that the current administration has failed to concentrate on price control systems which the All People’s Congress (APC) championed in the run-up to 2020 elections and captured the same in its Manifesto.
MPs must put aside their partisan and selfish interests and rather put the national interest first in the discharge of their duties in Parliament. The current hung Parliament provided a good opportunity for Parliament to showcase its strength in seeking the interest of the people.
Our MPs should not be seen to be fighting or abusing each other in Parliament. They should be talking and putting the national interest first. We need to be serious as a country.
The government must engage the Minority on pressing national issues to help build consensus.
The Majority caucus must also engage the Minority while the Minority caucus put aside their parochial interest for the good of the country. Our parliamentarians need to be accountable to their constituents and not get away with what they are doing in parliament
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must set up a second Economic Management Team comprising key stakeholders, including captains of industry, labour, and political parties to provide a second view to the government’s own Economic Management Team. That way, the country would be gaining more knowledge and expertise from a non-partisan body to guide it in its policies and programs.
As a country, we must shift from importation to production and manufacturing to salvage the Cedi. We cannot continue to be importing everything at the cost of local production and expect that life would be easier for Ghanaians.
I am urging the government to be transparent with Ghanaians on the economic challenges confronting the country and occasionally continue to engage with the populace which would make every Ghanaian appreciate the difficulties and also buy into government programs or changes in policy directions. We are not in normal times. In times of crisis like this, we need new ideas from within to help overcome the situation and we must all learn to change our consumption level, and attitudes and reduce wastage.
We have thousands of housing units built by previous governments and abandoned in various parts of the country. Meanwhile, Some sections of Ghanaians are being subjected to harsh living conditions especially our security men and women, our nurses who are risking their lives day in and day out without an affordable and decent place to lay their heads with their families.
Some Ghanaians are sleeping in kiosks, and others in structures that are not befitting to humans, but our Government has decided to turn a deaf ear to these problems. These affordable housing units were built for Ghanaians, but because of corruption, they are no longer affordable.
The housing deficit is too wide, coupled with the ineffectiveness of the Rent Control Board who have now become poodle to landlords and estate developers who continue to exploit the citizens even when the law says, no one is allowed to take rent advance for more than six (6) months. Landlords and estate developers are milking Ghanaians and its citizens are forced to make a two (2) years advance payment and the rent control board is aware of it, and nothing is done about it.
Government should finish up all affordable housing projects and give them out to the citizens. On Saturday, I drove to Sagelma affordable housing, and this time I couldn’t find an entrance because the whole place was bushes and abandoned. Wow!
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the size of government continues to balloon despite the signs of a collapsing economy way back two (2) years, yet our leaders are doing nothing about it, and even continue to add ghost names to the payroll and raise the wage bill which has led us to where we are now. If the president reduce the size of his government and take out all ghost names, we would not be where we are now.
It is laughable when I play both the video content and audio of our Vice-President now, I ask myself several questions whether indeed he is really a Dr. in economics. Years back, this was the same man who said he had arrested the $(dollar) and given the keys to the IGP, the question now is, what has happened? The cost of doing business has gone all-time high with the Cedi performing worse than all other major currencies globally. The effects of this dollar have affected oil prices and driven inflation to an unfathomable record-breaking situation.
CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, are you aware that, some heads of CEOs in Government institutions are richer than the institution they head today? They have suddenly become so rich in a very short period through the institutions they head. Most heads of government institutions are creating schemes that would pave the way to loot the country’s scarce resources, and the Government is aware of those schemes and yet says nothing about it.
Conditions of service of article 71 holders should be looked at. They are not different from other heads of institutions like Headmasters, district directors of Education, regional directors of Education, etc. The size of the staff at the various ministries must be reduced drastically.
Corruption has been a major bane to Ghana’s socio-economic and political development since independence in 1957.
Ladies and gentlemen, finally what lesson have we learnt from the Russia and Ukraine war and COVID 19 pandemic. Simple, Africans must add value to their resources and produce what they consume and not depend of other nations for their needs. Sooner than later, Ghanaians will be buying a Gallon of fuel at 100Gh and there will be a shortage of fuel.
Wake up fellow Ghanaians.
Dr. Hassan Ayariga
Founder/Leader of APC