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Published On: Mon, Jun 30th, 2014

Ghana hit by fuel scarcity, increases electricity, water tariffs

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By Etuka Sunday with agency report

Ghanians yesterday lamented the current fuel scarcity and the plan of government to increase water and electricity tariffs in the country.

The scarcity was visible in some cities across the country, including Accra, Tema, Cape Coast and Kumasi.

Hundreds of vehicles have queued at various filling stations hoping to fill their fuel tanks. Both motorists and passengers are complaining bitterly about the situation because, according to them, it is hindering their movements and making them unproductive.

The scarcity was attributed to the inability of the Ghanaian government to pay the BDCs GHC1.8 billion, therefore, international suppliers of petroleum products have refused to release a week’s supply of petrol and diesel until the BDCs honour their debt  obligations.

According to reports, local banks have declined to issue Letters of Credit (LCs) to the BDCs to pay-off their debts to their international suppliers because the current debt is threatening the survival of the banks.

However, the Information Minister, on Eyewitness News, mentioned that when the debt is settled, government will consider whether it is imperative for it to continue subsidizing petroleum products.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has announced an increase in water and electricity tariffs.

Director of Public Affairs at the PURC, Nana Yaa Gyantuah, explained that an initial 31 percent hike in electricity and 14 per cent hike in water had been agreed at management level, but said the proposal had been forwarded to the Board of the Commission for approval.

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