President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama has justified the tripartite hikes in prices of utilities, fuel and taxes, saying he is not president to take popular decisions.
Speaking to the press to mark the third anniversary of his tenure in office, the president said,
" I am not paid to take only popular decisions. These are not decisions I would ordinarily like to take but they are necessary to solve the high debts of the utility companies and fund the road fund."
President Mahama explained reasons behind the introduction of the energy tariffs saying, the utility companies owed massive debt to banks in the country that the banks have decided not to give them anymore credit.
" How are we supposed to provide stable power if our utility companies have a bad line of credit? The VRA for example owes so much that no bank in Ghana is willing to give them credit".
" So when the prices on the international market went from 90 Dollars when the deregulation policy was implement in July 2015 to the record low of 34 dollars, prices at the pump reduced. But government decided to make everyone sacrifice a little bit in order to clear the debt of the utility companies and also contribute to the road fund."
The president then argued that the energy taxes notwithstanding, prices at the pumps are still lower than they were during the implementation of the deregulation policy.
"From the time that we started the deregulation and the last increase in transport fares ,prices of petrol has gone down by 26 and 27 percent, we are still below the deregulation point by 11 percent. "
President Mahama concluded on the basis that, given the small amounts of Ghanaians on the tax roll, the most efficient way for us to raise revenue to raise this kinds of emergency revenue is indirect taxes.