The country has for some days now witnessed a considerable decline in the prices of petrol and diesel. However, the commercial transport operators have turned a blind eye to the development.
Transport unions, which advocate for increases in fares whenever fuel prices are increased, are yet to act upon the reduction, which is inconsistent with their agitations, whenever there is an increase.
In the last quarter of this year, transport fares have increased astronomically, on the back of a 40% initial proposal from the operators. Though 15% was the final adjustment, the cumulative increase moves the percentage higher, within the last two months.
A journey from Accra to Kumasi, which cost GH¢70 in July, had shot up to GH¢100 as of September this year.
Intercity fares have also increased, depending on the distance. Moving from Ashaiman to Lapaz, for instance, used to cost GH¢12 in July, but today it is GH¢18.
Since November 30, 2022 some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have reduced their prices by two percent to four percent.
Petrol is now selling for GH¢15.41 whilst diesel is selling for GH¢18.86.
It was the second time the price of petroleum products had decreased in the month of November this year.
In the heat of the fare increases, news of scuffles between drivers and passengers was regular, resulting in the death of a passenger.
Another repercussion of the transportation fare increase was an increase in food prices, which traders blamed on the cost of transportation.
It got to the point where the Ghana National Cargo Transport Association threatened strike action over the cost of fuel. They demanded that their fees be raised or they would stop transporting charcoal, plantains, and other commodities to the capital cities.
The year began with a first hike in January, when the prices of petrol and diesel shot up by 20 pesewas to GH¢6. 90 pesewas per litre. By January 17, a litre of fuel had crossed GH¢7.
This was on the heels of happenings on the international market. Within that month, Brent crude oil had moved from about $77 to about $83 per barrel, representing an increase of about 8%.
By February 28, 2022 fuel prices had registered a cost of GH¢8.11 per liter, and by March 16 consumers were paying at least GH¢11 per litre.
The bulk oil distributors blamed the situation on the volatility of the market as well as the rising cost of crude on the international market.
Brent crude was $113.34 per barrel in May, this year, but it was only $104.58 per barrel in April of 2022. Over the last twelve months, the price had risen by 65.39%.
Amid a marginal reduction on the world market in August, the depreciated Ghana cedis blocked the impact.
As of November 28, 2022, diesel was selling for more than GH¢23, while the price of petrol was hovering around GH¢18. Since the start of this month, the international price of petrol has decreased by at least 13%, from $969.08 per MT to $838.78 per MT. In Ghana, petrol is now selling at GH¢15.41, and diesel at GH¢18.86.
Meanwhile, a social media campaign for reduction of transportation fares is gaining attraction. A section of the public would not agree that fuel prices have been reduced for about four consecutive times, but transportation fares have yet to go down.
Analysts have blamed the continuous rise of fuel prices on the persistent decline of the cedi against the dollar and the unsteady rates of crude oil and finished petroleum products on the international market.