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Nana Owusu Afari - AGI Boss
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Following the recent increment in fuel prices, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has cautioned government that the move will collapse industries.

In an interview with Joy Fm yesterday, he said government did not consult the largest private sector body in the country before taking such a decision, adding that the private sector was crucial to economic growth and job creation.

He noted that government’s plan to increase wages and salaries to cushion workers against the hike in fuel prices was not the best way to address the problem. “Already, if you look at the story from the Ghana Statistical Service, the manufacturing industry on which every economy depends, in Ghana it is the other way round. And that is where we are concerned,” Nana Owusu Afari, President of the AGI noted.

The AGI Boss said a chunk of workers in Ghana operate in the private sector, stressing that the increment in fuel prices would severely affect them.

The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and the Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) also noted that the increase in fuel prices will increase the cost of doing business in the country while reducing revenue of businesses.

The AGI President said the upward adjustment in the prices of petroleum products will increase the prices of items thereby pushing inflation up, while lending rates and cost of borrowing would also be expensive.

Continuing, Nana Owusu Afari said industries would be forced to lay off workers, a situation that will compound the already high unemployment rate in the country.

Few days after Christmas, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced between 15 to 30 percent upward adjustment in the price of petroleum products.

This was influenced by the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s decision to withdraw petroleum subsidies though Brent Crude was trading at about $106.51 per barrel on the world market yesterday.

Crude oil sold at its record price of $147 per barrel during the tenure of the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, but petrol and diesel did not sell above GH¢5 per gallon.

Presently, petrol, which recently sold at GH¢6.80 per gallon, now goes for GH¢7.80 or GHp175.48 per liter while diesel now sells at GH¢8.00 per gallon or GHp177.09 per liter.

LPG and Kerosene now go for GHp136.19 per kilogramme and GHp91.00 per liter respectively. Premix fuel used by fishermen now sells at GHp54.27 per liter.
Source: Charles Nixon Yeboah/Daily Guide

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