The Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana (CCG) has described recent increments in the prices of petroleum products as “unfair” and “an act of economic injustice against the poor and the vulnerable.” It further condemned the increase’s timing as “unethical.”
In a Saturday press release, government announced 15 to 50 per cent hikes in fuel prices effective Sunday, February 17, 2013, based on the crude oil price of $116 per barrel and an exchange rate of GH˘1.89/USD.
Many people who went to church on Sunday were among the first to feel the impact of the increments, as commercial drivers charged higher transport fares.
The CCG is upset at the decision to bring the increments into effect on a Sunday, a day Christians were going to worship God only to experience the impact of the increments.
“This recent petroleum price increment is completely unfair, it is an act of economic injustice against the poor and the vulnerable and the timing unethical. Many people who went to church on Sunday in trotro and taxis went there very much upset.
“It was clear Sunday morning that the first casualties of the fuel price increase were the ordinary people who boarded trotro and taxis to their various destinations,” the CCG said in a release signed by Spokesman Bishop Prince Benny Wood.
The release accused government of “tricking” the public by raising the debate on whether subsidies on fuel products should be removed and taking the public by surprise in the midst of the debate.
“It is our observation that this trick has been applied by all the successive governments in the fourth republic. They pretend as if the views of the people matter then in the midst of the debate they pull their trick. If you had already made up your mind why did you waste everybody's time by engaging us in a debate?
“This is unacceptable, it is time we develop proper strategies to doing things to avoid inflicting such pain on people we pledge to protect, defend and serve.”