One week down the line, the reduction in petroleum prices announced by the government has still not got to the fuel stations. What this means is that drivers have not benefitted from the so-called reduction. If it has not got to drivers, passengers are surely not going to enjoy the benefit, if any, in the latest government gimmick in town.

From the nebulous nature of the announcement, the unsuspecting customer might be inclined to believe that the government has brought down the cost of petroleum products, in response to agitation from the good people of this country.

In the first place, the reduction is negligible. Instead of telling the people about how much, in cedi terms the reduction is, the official announcement spoke above the head of many Ghanaians. The announcement said the reduction is twenty percent of what was put on the original cost. In effect, what has been reduced is twenty percent of the fifteen percent added cost.

By the calculation of experts, drivers and car owners are only going to benefit from a 20 pesewa reduction on every gallon of petrol put into a fuel tank.  In other words, for diesel users, instead of GH¢8.00 a gallon, drivers are expected to pay GH¢7.80.

Even then, the so-called decrease has not hit the fuel stations yet. The Chronicle is in no doubt that if it had been an increase, the petrol stations would have effected the change, the moment the announcement was made.

We are told by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Inusah Fuseini, that the 20 pesewas reduction would mean that development projects worth GH¢50 million a month, would have to be scrapped.

The Chronicle is not amused by what amounts to a threat from officialdom. It is a fact that at GH¢8.00 a gallon, the costs of refined petrol and its allied products are too high.

Reducing it by 20 pesewas a gallon is not going to aid the fight against the high cost of living. By the nature of the exercise, it looks more like a gimmick than the government’s determination to bring down the cost of living. The fact that the reduction has not even got to the filling stations, one week after the exercise, tells much about the level of importance officialdom views the reduction.

We are disappointed in the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), which is said to have been the main player in this ridiculous attempt to insult the intelligence of the average Ghanaian. What is interesting is that the Ghana Private Road Transport Union of the TUC, a subsidiary of the labour movement, has threatened not to respect the wishes of the TUC/Government pact. In other words, the exercise has been defeated, even before it could be carried out.

The Chronicle is of the view that the whole reduction exercise was thrown into the system as a means of dousing the raging fire over the Alfred Abesi Woyome gargantuan GH¢52 million dole-out. As an exercise in reducing the cost of living, it has been a gargantuan failure.

The reduction exercise appears to be no more than an extension of this government’s propensity to throw away needed cash for development. If this government has the welfare of the people at heart, it would have to go back to the drawing board and effect a reduction in petroleum products that would be felt in the pocket.

The 20 pesewas petroleum reduction is ridiculous, and would have no bearing on the war against the high cost of living. Once more, the Atta Mills administration has demonstrated its inability to bring relief to the average Ghanaian.

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