The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, has said that government has not failed in its promise to remove fuel taxes, hence cannot render an apology to citizens in that regard.
According to him, the government has barely spent 10 months in office and therefore cannot be said to have failed in honouring the promise of reducing the price of fuel.
Mr. Tampuli’s comment comes on the back of demands by the minority in Parliament that the government apologizes to Ghanaians for failing to honour their campaign promise to reduce fuel prices, by scrapping some taxes on petroleum products.
The Deputy Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Adam Mutawakilu, at a press conference on Thursday, said the NPP had been elected on the back of repeated promises to scrap ‘nuisance taxes’ imposed by the previous government, and was going to reduce the cost of fuel for the ordinary Ghanaian, but has failed to do so nine months in office, leading to a hike in fuel prices.
Citi News’ checks have revealed that since January 2017 when the NPP government took over office, fuel prices have increased three times, and hit an all-year-high in September, with petrol selling at an average price of GHc4.29 at the pumps, and diesel going for an average of GHc4.23 per litre.
But Hassan Tampuli in an interview with Eyewitness News on Thursday said that, “Did we make a commitment to remove the excise tax? We did not, but we have removed completely the excise tax. This is not an insensitive government. We have even done things that we didn’t promise to do, how much more things that we promised to do, we will do it, but we will do it in the fullness of time,” he said.
In 2015, when the previous government increased petroleum prices, the then NPP opposition, described the government as being insensitive.
It said it would immediately scrap Energy sector levy that resulted in the increment of the taxes when it comes office, but that is yet to happen.
But Hassan Tampuli said the increase in fuel prices under the current government unlike the previous one, was due to increase in fuel prices globally.
He said he believes that the government must be given more time honour the promise it made to Ghanaians with regards to the price of petroleum products.
“it is less than one year since the government came to power, and we have to apologize for all that we promised to do in our manifesto? Everything that we said we will do in our manifesto, we had to do that within nine months, and we haven’t done that so we have to apologize… Government continues…we cannot do everything in one day,” he said.