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GPRTU Threatens Strike By Members Over High Cost Of Fuel

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All members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), will from today, Tuesday, November 23, 2021, wear red armbands as a protest signal to alert the government of its intended strike on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Head of Communications for GPRTU, Abass Imoro, says the action is to compel the government to reduce the price of a litre of fuel by GHS 1.50.

The recent increase in fuel prices has become a major issue of concern to many transport owners, who are forced to buy fuel at a higher price but unable to arbitrarily charge passengers extra fares.

In Ghana, this has led to petrol, for example, reaching as high as GHS 6.9 per litre which have led to threats to increase transport fares.

The Coalition of Private Transport Operators last week threatened to embark on a strike over the many taxes on petroleum products, which they blame for the high fuel prices, but the action was called off after a meeting with the government.

COPEC angered by hikes
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), is disappointed that the government did not propose any policy in the 2022 budget statement to address the continuous hikes in fuel prices.

COPEC’s grievance comes on the back of another increment in the price of fuel from GH¢6.90 per litre to GH¢6.99 per litre.

Speaking to Citi News, Executive Secretary of the Chamber, Duncan Amoah, said he hopes the situation does not escalate before the year ends.

According to him, the Ministry of Energy must make a case to the President for other taxes on fuel to be removed to curb the constant increase of the price.

“We don’t know what will happen but we will keep hoping that before the end of the year, maybe the Ministry of Energy will be able to make a concrete case to the President again just as the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy has been zeroed for other taxes to also be zeroed.”

Mr. Duncan Amoah had reiterated calls for the government to review the taxes imposed on petroleum products in the country.

According to him, taxes are a major driving factor behind the rising cost of fuel in the country.

He said, although the exchange rate also plays a role in the development, there isn’t a strong argument to hold it responsible as the major cause.

“Taxes definitely are driving our prices upwards, The forex is not helping much. [The dollar was stronger many years ago] but, we didn’t get to GH¢ 6.5 per litre. The taxes are too strong in relation to the upward increase in prices,” he said.

“With the recent increment [in prices] we are talking about from GHS 6.38 to GHS 6.52… You can imagine what this alone does to your pocket anytime you go to the pump. On every gallon, Ghanaians could have saved GH¢2.07 pesewas,” he added.

Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, Mr. Imoro said members of his union will embark on an indefinite strike if the government fails to address their demands by Sunday.

“Drivers of commercial cars, tipper trucks, articulators, and cargo trucks should wear red bands because we are fighting. So come Sunday, if our problem is not resolved, we have no option than to send the signal that from Monday, no commercial vehicle will be working. In any case, if you are outside Accra, it is up to you to decide on when you return before we begin the strike.”

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E-Levy Will Be Double Taxation : Kwabena Duffuor

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The former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has added his voice to the many calls for the rejection of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) saying it will compound the several taxes on the Ghanaians.

Dr. Duffuor reiterated that implementing the E-levy would affect the ordinary Ghanaian directly since it is the mode of payment widely used.

The former Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) disclosed that the E-levy move would lead to double taxation as the taxpayer is already taxed on his income.

“This makes the proposed E-levy problematic because it could be fraught with serious implementation challenges. This tax could undermine the Ghanaian Digital Economy.

“It should be noted that taxes/levies are imposed on income, gifts, consumption and held properties or assets. Electronic transfers and payments are none of these,” he stated.

Dr. Duffuor made these statements while delivering a lecture organized by Institute for Fiscal Studies on the theme: The Ghanaian Dream; Transforming the Economy through Job Creation and Opportunities for all’ held at the Tang Palace Hotel in Accra on Monday, 29th November 2022.

The event brought together various personalities in business, politics, agriculture sector, education, traditional rulers among others.

Touching on job creation, Dr. Duffuor pointed out that for a sector to thrive, the government must start matching jobs with skills in a more intentional way.

“We cannot demand of our youth to rise if we do not offer them a platform to step on, a first step into employment and self-sufficiency. This is what the government can and should do,” he added.

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We’ll Fix Dumsor In Ashanti Region By Dec. 20 : GRIDCo Assures

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The power outages in the Ashanti region will continue until December 20, 2021, as a result of ongoing works on three damaged towers of GRIDCo at Bogoso, GRIDCo has said.

Speaking at a joint press conference organized by GRIDCo and ECG in Kumasi, the Director of Northern Network Services at GRIDCo, Ing. Vincent Boachie, said they are currently working on their 330kV Aboadze to Kumasi transmission lines at Bogoso, which were damaged by a communication tower.

Ashanti region since November 9th 2021 has been sleeping in darkness during the peak hours that’s 6 pm to 11 pm each night.

This has been attributed to a broken power plant that carries the load from Aboadze to Kumasi. The development has also affected Water treatment and production from the Barekese site because there’s a shortfall of energy to meet the water production demand for domestic and industrial use.

Addressing the media in Kumasi, Engineer Vincent Boachie said one of the three damaged towers has been fixed, leaving two, which are currently being worked on.

He said currently, most of the electricity supply to Kumasi has been coming from the Akosombo Generation Station and generation enclave in Tema.

He said as a result, during the peak period, the available transmission network cannot carry enough power to the country’s middle and northern parts, including Kumasi.

He said that has caused the current power outages in the region because they are unable to supply the required power to consumers during peak hours.

He indicated that ECG currently cannot come out with a load shedding timetable because they cannot predict the voltage of energy they will have for distribution at the peak period which is between 6 pm – 11 pm.

Engineer Boachie also said plans are underway to relocate the Ameri power plant from Aboadze to Kumasi to provide reliable power to the region.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Ing. Lawrence Apaalse, also said plans are underway to ensure that stable power is supplied to the region.

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Mo Salah Voted Premier League Player Of The Year

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Liverpool’s Mo Salah has been voted the men’s Player of the Year in a poll of 400,000 supporters, after netting 32 goals and counting, in all club competitions this calendar year.

The Egyptian international was named the best performer in 2021 at the Football Supporters’ Association Awards on Monday.

Salah held off competition from Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Man City pair Phil Foden, and Rúben Dias, West Ham United’s Michail Antonio, and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans to claim the gong.

Last season, Salah, 29, netted 31 times in league and cup matches. He is the fourth Liverpool player to scoop the award in 11 years and the first to win the award on two occasions.

It adds to an extraordinary list of personal achievements, with 50 awards already stuffed into his trophy cabinet and that’s before one adds the player and goal of the month accolades and the Premier League, Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup-winning medals he has claimed with Liverpool.

‘There’s no doubt Mohamed is having another incredible year, the number and quality of his goals have once again lit up English football and contributed to Liverpool’s title push,’ said Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters Association.

‘As well as his on-field ability, Mohamed’s character has won support from fans across the game and he was a clear favourite among the voting public.’

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