“We’re being told that very soon, they are going to reduce the petroleum (energy sector) levy (on the price buildup of petroleum prices). We, in the NPP, have been calling for a reduction in the levy to bring relief to the people. But, they (Mahama government) said no. Once again, with the election around the corner, he is likely to do that (reduce the prices)”, the NPP flagbearer said.
The NPP flagbearer said this on Friday, November 11, 2016, whilst addressing students of the Sunyani Polytechnic, at the end of day 2 of his 4-day tour of the Brong Ahafo Region.
It will be recalled that on December 23, 2015, the NDC Majority in Parliament rushed through an Energy Sector Levy Bill (2015), under a certificate of emergency, which imposed more taxes on petroleum products. The new levies were strongly opposed by the Minority, which argued that they would impose more hardship on the already suffering Ghanaian.
The Energy sector levy meant the imposition of a tax of GH¢0.05 on diesel and LPG as PSM; GH¢0.28 on petrol, diesel and LPG as PIS levy; GH¢0.05 on petrol as PSM; GH¢0.05 on petrol as recovery margin, GH¢40.05 on petrol, diesel and GH¢0.23/kg on LPG as forex under recovery and UPPF at GH¢0.09 per litre.
Recalling President Mahama’s decision to restore the allowances of nursing training students, albeit it partially, the NPP flagbearer noted that despite President Mahama’s opposition to the restoration of the allowances all these years, “he has decided to pay the allowances, with a few days to the elections.”
This move, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, smacks of desperation and hypocrisy on the part of President Mahama.
Touching on the current decline in world crude oil prices, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that many Ghanaians have been left confused by the fact that whilst crude oil prices keep on reducing on the international markets, the price of petroleum prices keep going up in Ghana.
“Crude oil prices are coming down, but in Ghana, we are paying more for petrol. We are supposed to have an automatic price adjustment policy which should have brought down the cost of petroleum products, on the contrary, it is going up. Why?” he asked.
The NPP flagbearer noted that “the economy has been mismanaged so much that with the weak currency we have, these crude oil prices don’t translate into a reduction in petroleum prices in Ghana. With four more years of Mahama, and when crude oil prices begin to climb, which they are bound to do, what is going to happen to us in Ghana? Our economy will be in tatters.”
Mahama is confused
On President Mahama’s recent claim that the nation’s agriculture was in a healthy state, describing those who criticized the state of the country’s agriculture as “confused," Nana Akufo-Addo retorted by stating that that “Mr President, if anybody is confused, it has to be you.”
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that “when President Kufuor left office, agriculture was growing at 7.4%. Last year, official statistics tell us that agriculture grew at 2.5%. How can a decline of growth rate in agriculture from 7.4% to 2.5% be said to be healthy?”
The NPP flagbearer added that “our cocoa farmers and cashew farmers, amongst others, are facing tremendous difficulties. Today, when our cocoa farmers sell their beans to the Produce Buying Company, they are not paid. All over the cocoa growing areas, cocoa farmers are not getting monies from the beans they are supplying to the PBC.”
The African objective, according to Akufo-Addo, is to have agriculture grow at 6% in countries on the continent.
“We are less than half of that, and the President says our agriculture is very healthy. Every aspect of our national life is being comprised by the incompetence, massive corruption and mismanagement of President John Dramani Mahama,” he said.
To the hundreds of students gathered, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that “all of us here have a duty to pull our country together in order to secure the future. Our industries are in decline, manufacturing is virtually in negative growth.
We have a duty to say good bye to John Dramani Mahama in December”, assuring that “we can bring in policies that are going to revive our nation, and which will open up prospects for the young people of our country.”