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Ghanaians expecting a downward review or the scrapping of some taxes imposed on petroleum products, would have to dump their hopes since government is not ready to barge in.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, at a press conference on Wednesday, gave a litany of reasons why the about ten taxes and margins on fuel prices could not be taken off. He said the taxes are in the interest of consumers.

“…When we hear calls for government to remove those nuisance taxes, we’ve removed the nuisance taxes – these are taxes, levies and statutory margins that every responsible government will ensure that [ they] will remain in the price build-up to ensure efficiency, availability of products, quality of the products and to ensure that for every [petroleum] product that we consume within the country, taxes are paid on every litre of petroleum products consumed.”

Fuel prices hit all-year-high, taxes must go down

Fuel prices have hit all-year-high in September 2017, with petrol selling at an average price of GHc4.29 at the pumps, and diesel going for an average of GHc4.23 per litre.

The surge in fuel prices have squarely been blamed on among other things the about ten taxes and margins slapped on the products.

This has compelled some groups and policy think tanks including the Institute of Energy Security and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, to call on government to review the taxes to make the products cheaper on the Ghanaian market.

We’ve scrapped some

But the NPA CEO said government’s hands are tied.

He noted that, when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the administration of the country, it scrapped some of the taxes which saw a three percent cut in the prices of fuel, adding that a further reduction will be suicidal.

Below are some of the reasons Mr. Tampuli gave for their inability to reduce the taxes

Primary distribution margin: It is in the price build up to ensure that products are moved from the coast depot to the inland depots.

So the products come through Accra plains depot of BOST, Tema Oil Refinery and some other private depots. We have to move those products to Kumasi depot, Buipe, Bolgatanga, Maame Water, Akosombo – that margin is supposed to take care the freight cost or transportation of the fuel from these depots to the inland depots so that consumers around those depots do not pay different prices by reason of the movement in the primary distribution. That is what it’s supposed to be.

UNIFIED PETROLEUM PRICING FUND (UPPF) margin: It’s supposed to ensure a situation where you pay the same price for fuel products anywhere you find yourself in the country. Embedded in the UPPF margin is the pay for the [tanker driver’s] mate who sits in the truck moved from the depot to the distribution outlets. The drivers pay is in there, everything about the transportation cost – the transport owner, the transporters, all of them have their margins coming from this particular UPPF margin.

BOST margin: This is about three percent. BOST margin is supposed to take care of the maintenance of pipelines of the depots – BOST has depots in Accra plains, Maame Water, Buipe, Kumasi and Bolgatanga. All of these depots are supposed to be taken care of one way or the other.

Fuel marking margin: This is a chemical composition which is used to identify the products that are supposed to remain in the country, and not for exports.

So it distinguishes the products for exports, and also distinguishes the locally consumed products from those meant for the mines and marines. So every product that we consume in our cars and machines have this chemical composition. That is also what we use to indicate the total consumption within the country for not only identifying dilution and adulteration, but to also see how much taxes we need to get so we correlate almost entirely with the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Distribution margin: Oil marketing companies have investments, they need to have returns on, so they could continue to be in business and ensure that products are within their retail outlets across the country for us to benefit. That distribution margin goes to these marketers; it doesn’t come to government at all.

Dealers/retailers margin: This part of margin goes to the dealer; it does not go the oil marketing company. It goes to the individual dealers who own those retail outlets.

LPG filling plants: That is also used to take care of the distribution of LPG across the country that one does not also come to government of Ghana’s kitty neither does it come to the NPA.

Mr. Tampuli insisted that, tampering with the taxes could amount to shortages in some areas in the country.

“If you touch the primary distribution margin, we are going to get shortages in some other zones in the country. Is that what we are looking at? If you tamper with the UPPF margin, then you are going to ensure that we are going full deregulation.

That means that you can sell at any price and include in it your transportation cost without any government intervention – that is not the way to go. And then when you look at the dealers’ margin…those have to also be paid for,” he added.


Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has stated that government will reduce electricity tariff in the national budget which will be presented before parliament in November this year.

Mr. Agyarko explained that government could not reduce the tariff in this year’s budget due to moves to stabilize power supply in the country.

Speaking at a conference in Accra, Mr. Agyarko assured that government is working to input the tariff reduction in the budget to bring relief to businesses and domestic uses.

“On the budget, it is our faithful expectation that we should be able to reduce tariff. We are getting a lot of corporation in so doing. So we believe that through this budget to the end of the year we should be able to start bringing the prices down,” he assured.

Mr. Agyarko explained that government was working to stabilize the price by reducing waste in the power generation and distribution systems.

“When we set out, the commitment was that we need to correct two things. One was stabilizing power so that we get the product that we are paying for. I believe that we have largely succeeded in stabilizing the supply of power”.

“Our next mandate is to begin the reduction of prices, and the reduction of prices takes a number of forms. Levies which we did in the last budget,” he added.

Mr. Agyarko pointed out that the ministry is working to substantially reduce the cost of production in the power sector.

“It doesn’t make much sense that for the same turbines and the same fuel, Ivory Coast is producing power cheaper than us, they on the average produce at 9 cents per kilowatt-hour, we on the average produce at 14 cents per kilowatt-hour,” he said adding that “we have to find a way to reduce the cost of production and we are working on it”


A member of the National Media Commission (NMC) and Managing Editor of the Daily Searchlight, Ken Kuranchie, has called on the management of Montie FM to settle their differences with the National Communications Authority (NCA) that led to the shutdown of the station.

According to him, although he disagrees with most of the positions taken by the station on national issues, the Accra-based station adds more colour to the political discourse of the country. To that end, the managers of the station should act quickly to bring the station back on air.

The NCA has shut down pro-opposition Montie FM for failing to pay its licence fees.

The National Pen reported on Thursday that the NCA issued a letter to Montie FM dated 27 September, informing management of the revocation of the licence.

According to the paper, another pro-opposition radio station, Radio Gold, is also likely to be shut down for failing to pay its licence fee over a period.

Both Montie FM and Radio Gold belong to the Network Broadcasting Limited.

Speaking in an interview with ClassFMonline.com on Thursday, September 28 Mr Kuranchie said: “I grieve whenever I hear of any media organisation being forced to shut down for any reason. It is my hope that whatever the differences between the Montie FM and the National Communications Authority (NCA) are, these differences will be resolved as quickly as possible.

“If you listen to Montie FM, it adds a lot of colour to our political space, even though I disagree vehemently with some of the positions of that station, I believe they should be allowed to be on air so far as they meet their statutory obligations. So the owners of the station should engage the National Communications Authority and see where they can find the middle ground so that the station can come back on air.”

When asked to react to persons who may read political meanings into the shut down since the station has been critical of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, he said: “Fortunately for us, the people who own Montie FM are not small shacks, these are powerful people who have a lot of voice. If they suspect that this is political, I think that they have the space to exactly prove factually why this is political.”


Montie FM, a radio station sympathetic to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been shut down by the National Communications Authority over unpaid license fee.

The station, according to StarrFMonline.com sources, went off the air around 3pm Wednesday evening after it persistently failed to heed to caution by the regulator to pay up its debt.

The source further added that a sister station of Montie, Radio Gold, is also hugely indebted to the NCA and has been ordered to pay up or be shut down in a month’s time.

Montie FM became popular in the build-up to the 2016 elections when some panelists who had appeared on a political show were jailed by the Supreme Court for threatening judges with death.