— As inflation hits 16.7% (Palaver) -- As predicted by all knowledgeable economists except the NPP ones, prices of almost all goods and services in Ghana have skyrocketed following the 50% increases in the prices of petroleum products.
Staff of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) engaged in the collection and analysis of market data for the calculation of the Consumer Price index (CPI) and inflation have revealed to 'Ghana Palaver' that the average price and cost increases for goods and services since the fuel price increases is in the order of about 43.4%, ranging from a low of 13% for SSS boarding fees to a high of 150% for a 50 kilogram bag of maize.
An “olonka” of gari, which President Kufuor announced triumphantly last year as selling at ¢3,000, has shot up to ¢11,000, an increase of about 83%.
Compared to December 2000 when the NDC was leaving office, however, today's percentage increases in prices and costs are simply outrageous.
SSS Boarding fees have gone up by 209%; a 50-kilogram bag of maize has gone up by 400%, and an “olonka” of gari has gone up by 340%.
In the sample prices made available to 'Ghana Palaver”, however, the highest increases were recorded in milk (525%); two-room rental unit house (500%); average fees for primary and JSS schools per term (500%); stick of candle (380%); cutlass (323%); bag of charcoal (312%); and a bottle of beer (220%).
A Chart showing the comparative prices for December 2000 and April 2005 for selected goods and services is published below.
Meanwhile, the 'Business and Financial Weekly' has reported that March 2005 inflation rose from about 11% at the time of the 2005 Budget to 16.7%, an increase that was predicted by various critics of the NPP Government's 2005 Budget.
It will be recalled that in its reaction to the petroleum price increases, the NDC, at a Press Conference held on February 23, 2005, warned as follows in a Press Statement read by the Party's National Chairman, Dr. Obed Asamoah:
“As a party we are aware of the justifiable anger and frustration of Ghanaians and the time has come to send a clear signal to the NPP government to stop believing its own propaganda and start listening to how Ghanaians really feel about the economic hardships——-
Drivers of passenger vehicles are complaining that the 30% increase in fares falls short of what they need to survive in business. Drivers of cargo vehicles are suffering in silence. Those who use petroleum products for farming purposes are also suffering in silence. Industry is in a state of uncertainty because of the impact of the increases. Members of the general public are crying about high transport fares. Ghanaians are sitting on tenterhooks, wondering how the fuel prices will affect the cost of food and cost of locally manufactured items. All is not well with Ghanaians as the NPP government claims and we can no longer suffer in silence”.