TUC, AGI mount pressure on gov’t

…to reduce fuel prices

With Daniel Nonor

Mr. Kofi Asamoah - Secretary General, TUC

The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has expressed its disappointment over the recent fuel price hikes, stating that the quantum of increase indicates that government is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.

According to The Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah, the recent increases would have dire consequences on the general living conditions of Ghanaians and also threaten job security, as some companies have threatened to lay off workers to cut down operational cost.

“Such an increase will have serious implications for the face values of income, it will have serious implications for industry, it will have serious implications for cost of living, and serious implications for job security,” he noted. He has thus called for an immediate reduction of fuel prices.

His call comes at the heels of similar concerns raised by The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) about the latest hikes in petroleum prices, dreading that it might kill the businesses of some of its members.

According to the President of the Association, Nana Owusu Afari, last year’s price increment in electricity tariffs nearly collapsed some businesses of its members.

Speaking to Citi Fm, a local radio station earlier in the week, noted that the move might make doing business in Ghana almost impossible and reduce the country’s attraction as an investment destination.

“We have already been complaining about the cost of doing business in this country. Now this increase is going to take a lot of money, and when that happens the people’s ability to purchase goods are reduced and this will have a very sad effect on industry because when you produce the goods and you cannot sell, you have to cut down production and lay off workers.

“Secondly, industry will also become uncompetitive in the ECOWAS region. We are in a global economy, so a lot of people who want to make their profits may be looking to re-locate somewhere.

“These are things that we have always been talking to the government about. We did not expect the quantum of the percentage (increase) that we have to handle. It’s too much on the high side and industry will suffer.” He lamented.

Meanwhile, information gathered by the Business Chronicle from deep sources indicates that government is in consultation with stakeholder s to salvage the situation.

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