The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has announced that commuters should expect another upward increment in transport fares.
It follows another significant increase in fuel prices by some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) yesterday with an increase of up to 30% at the pumps.
According to the Head of the Union’s Communications, Abass Imoro, “if nothing is being done about this also, then next week of course we have to adjust lorry fares.”
“We did mention in the last upward adjustment with the public that should the 10% threshold keep on its peak, we shall definitely come out with another upward adjustment in lorry fare,” he said in an interview on PM Express, Wednesday.
Government had an agreement with commercial transport operators that they can increase the prices of transport fares when fuel prices increased by a cumulative 10%.
Following the current hikes in fuel prices, Abass Imoro says the executives are deliberating on another upward adjustment to be made to the existing fares.
The transport operators, on Saturday, February 26 increased the fares by 15 per cent after weeks of engagement with the various unions and government.
They had earlier demanded a 30 per cent increment but that was reduced to 15 per cent after a meeting with government on Monday, February 21.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, has indicated that the government has instituted plans to address the challenges influencing fuel price hikes.
Fuel prices at the various pumps hit ¢11 per litre on Wednesday, March 16 across the country.
The Bulk Oil Distributors has blamed the situation on the volatility on the market as well as the rising cost of crude on the international market.
According to the Chief Executive, Senyo Hosi, the cedi which is depreciating among other major trading currencies is also a factor for the rise in the price of the commodities.
Prices of petroleum products will from Wednesday, March 16 experience a significant surge as consumers are expected to pay ¢11 per litre.
“This is not really with crude but with products on a metric tonne basis. You’re actually breaking the pair and likely breaking 11 as well, subject to which product and how the OMCs want to add some margins on their current prices.
“What you see from the OMCs publication is quite reflective of what the market situation is and I think a big chunk of it has to do with some of the onset increase around our current cedi issues,” he said.
In an interview on Joy FM’s News Night, Monday, Senyo Hosi however noted that “the Central Bank has been very proactive and cooperative with industry and we’ve been working on ways to help mitigate the impact on these key commodities.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen oil prices rise to their highest level in more than a decade and is on the verge of hitting new record, with crude prices predicted to reach as high as 185 dollars a barrel.
In its projections for the March 2022 Second Pricing Window, which will take effect from March 16, 2022, to March 31, 2022, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) has said the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) will go up by 3 per cent whereas petrol and diesel would go up by 5 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says the Oil Marketing Companies are not adjusting their pump prices beyond the indicative prices provided to the authority.
Communications Manager for the NPA, Mohammed Abdul-Kudus explained that “the review might be irregular but it is not illegal.”
“The OMCs and the fact they are buying it through the BDCs are minded by the consequences of the future and so you see the marginal review.”
Currently, petrol and diesel are selling at an average of ¢8.2 per litre at the pumps.
Before March 1, 2022, petrol and diesel traded at an average ¢7.50 per litre, representing an increment of 8.6 per cent in the just-ended pricing window.
In the March, 2022 First Pricing Window, the IES found that the Cedi depreciated by 4.82 per cent to close at GH¢7.17 to the Dollar from the earlier window’s rate of GH¢6.85 to $1.
With respect to the cost of fuel on the international market, the Institute found that the price of the international benchmark Brent Crude rose to 14-year highs within the period under assessment, reaching an average of $112.87 per barrel and representing an increase of 19.95 per cent over the previous window’s average price of $94.10 per barrel.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) has also projected that the price of diesel is likely to sell at over ¢10 per litre while petrol will cross ¢9 from Wednesday.
In a statement, it said the Free On Board prices of petrol increased by 19.28% from $917.48/MT to 1094.33/MT, diesel by 34.57% from $845.50/MT to $1137.78/MT and LPG by 17.42% from $845.93/MT to $993.25/MT between the first pricing window (1st-15th March 2022) and the second window (16th-31st March 2022).
“The petroleum price indicators as published by the NPA shows that the price of Gasoil (diesel) will increase by 30.41% from GH¢8.22 per litre in this current window to Gh¢10.721 per litre beginning 16th March 2022 and ex-pump prices of Gasoline (petrol) will increase by 18.25% from GH¢8.22 per litre to GH¢727 per litre within the same period.”