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08.05.2006 Business & Finance

Addai-Mensah takes on Ayariga over fuel price hikes

By myjoyonline

The chairman of the National Petroleum Authority has dismissed comments that the agency is just a smokescreen to implement government directives in fixing petroleum prices.

Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah was reacting to a statement by NDC MP for Bawku Central, Mohammed Mahama Ayariga on the recent fuel price increases.

Speaking on Joy FM Mr. Ayariga said the NPA is an appendage of the NPP government as its members were all appointed by the president. Professor Addae-Mensah says that statement is baseless.

“The members of the EC, they are appointed by the government; judges of the Supreme Court, indeed the Chief Justice, is appointed by the government, members of the NCCE, they are all appointed by the government. So are we saying that the decisions of these people are that of the government? People should give us a break! When we appoint independent bodies, we must give believe in them. The NPA consists of men of integrity and the day the government interferes in our work, we would say thank you, you gave us a job we have finished, good bye”, he said.

He also rejected criticisms that the tax elements contained in the fuel prices drive the cost saying the increases are justified.

Some economists have urged the government to desist from the use of petroleum as a major source of raising government revenue.

Economist, Nii Moi Thompson argues that the practice of increasing petroleum prices anytime world market prices go up can be avoided if government focuses attention on alternative means of raising funds instead of piling taxes on Petroleum products.