Minister To Face Parliament

Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, yesterday asked parliament to invite the Minister of Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, to explain to the nation what necessitated the recent nine percent increase in fuel prices and the indices that went into the computation of the new prices.

“Mr speaker, the Daily Graphic on its front page of the May 18 edition published that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has increased fuel prices by 9 percent; and Mr speaker, this new increment is beyond comprehension. As MPs we would like to know the basis on which the new increment was made,” he said, stressing that when the world price of crude oil fell from over $100 per barrel to as low as $45 per barrel, the NPA did not see the need to reduce fuel prices commensurately, but now the government has decided to burden Ghanaians with higher fuel prices, even though world oil price has not gone up significantly.

“Mr speaker, with Ghanaians already suffering from this dumsor, dumsor problem and companies relying heavily on fuel to power their generators, the new prices by the government will bring further hardship to Ghanaians who are being choked under these economic crises,” he noted.

The Effutu MP said there are established processes by law that ought to be followed for adjustments in fuel prices to be made and that it seems the NPA had neglected that and is adjusting fuel prices at its whims and caprices.

“Mr speaker, it is important we bring the minister here to explain why the new prices have been announced so that when we go to our constituencies we can also explain it to our constituents,” Mr Markin asserted.

The first deputy speaker, Ebo Barton Odro, who was presiding over proceedings, however said that he would not be in a position to give any directive and that since the MP has all the parliamentary tools at his disposal to let the minister respond to those questions either through motions or questions, he should use those opportunities.

In a related matter, the second deputy minority chief whip, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, also demanded that the chairman of the Electoral Commission be invited to parliament to explain to the people’s representatives why the EC started a limited registration and the reason why it stopped doing the registration when the NPP and some other parties raised serious concerns about that.

“Mr speaker, the EC has to be invited to tell us how many people that it registered from Monday 18 – Tuesday 19, when it was forced to suspend the limited registration,”.

The first deputy speaker said the matter was beyond him and that he would like the speaker himself to be present to respond to those concerns raised by Mr Baffour-Awuah.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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