Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has told labour unions in the West African country that calls for the removal of taxes on petroleum products are not workable.
According to the Ghanaian leader, part of the revenues from the taxes on petroleum products is what is used to pay the salaries of some of the seven hundred thousand public sector workers on the government’s payroll.
President Akufo-Addo, who was speaking to Ghanaian workers on May Day, noted that “removing taxes on petroleum products will reduce government revenues by some four billion Cedis (GH¢4 billion).
“At this time, when we are determined to expand government revenues to increase our capacity to finance our development, can we afford to reduce tax revenues by GH¢4 billion?” he asked.
Ghanaian workers, through their umbrella body the Trades Union Congress (TUC), recently, demanded that the government removes taxes on petroleum products to cushion consumers from the rising cost of fuel.
Responding to their demand, President Akufo-Addo said the government is implementing measures that would help stabilise fuel prices.
“We are addressing the issue of fuel price increases by implementing measures that are succeeding in stabilising the exchange rate, a key determinant of fuel prices.
“Government is also working hard to ensure reliable supply and availability of petroleum products, thereby, preventing shortages, a phenomenon which is being experienced in some other neighbouring countries. By the same token, we are keeping the lights on in Ghana,” he emphasised.
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo said intense efforts are being made to rehabilitate the Tema Oil Refinery to enable it to contribute to stabilising petroleum prices, which should see the light of the day very soon.