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Inland fisher-folk call for increment in prices of premix fuel

Premix Fuel Fisherfolk transferring pre-mix fuel

Fri, 18 Feb 2022 Source: GNA

The National Inland Canoe Fishermen Council (NICFC) has urged government to consider increasing the price of premix fuel from GH₵7.50 to GH₵10.00 per gallon.

It said revenues from the increment should be used to set up an automated system for the distribution of the product across the country.

Mr Jacob Kabore Tetteh Ageke, President of NICFC, who made the call, said the automation was needed to check the incessant hijacks and smuggling of the product, to ensure equitable distribution to fisher folks.

In 2018, a total of 72,738,000 litres of Premix Fuel was lifted from the Tema Oil Refinery.

Government, in November last year, announced plans to automate the distribution of premix fuel across all landing beaches in the country, to eliminate middlemen who hijack the distribution of the highly subsidised product.

Government, from 2014 to 2021, spent GH₵1.2 billion (GH₵1,204,511,952) as subsidy on premix fuel to cushion fishermen across the country.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Council’s Annual General Meeting in Accra, on Thursday, Mr Ageke said the current premix sector was bedevilled with numerous challenges, including diversion, smuggling and profiteering, which had enriched a few “dubious persons” and negatively affecting the fishery sector.

He said as stakeholders in the sector, the situation was having a dire consequence on their operations and welcomed the government’s plan to automate the distribution process to eliminate those challenges.

“We have been buying the premix fuel at GH₵25.00 to GH₵30.00 from the black market because they are not available at the designated inland stations due to protocol hijacking and diversions and so, we, as fishermen have to support this good and laudable idea that would put a stop to the politicisation of premix fuel.

“The automation of the premix fuel will need money, and looking at the current economic situation of the country we have to support as fishermen,” Mr Ageke said.

He added: “Therefore, we are appealing to government to increase the price of premix fuel from its current price, to GH₵10.00 per gallon, because as fishermen, we understand gallon, not litre, to help the Ministry to put up this system to ensure constant supply.”

He also appealed to the government to allow the Council to play lead role in the distribution of all premix fuel at the inland fishing sector, to reduce the political interference that had characterised the distribution of the product and ensure that deserving fisher folks were not left out.

Mr Ageke called on the Ministry, the National Premix Fuel Committee (NPFC) and the Premix Fuel Secretariat to, as a matter of urgency, rectify and swear into office the representative of the NICFC and other members appointed onto the NPFC, to ensure immediate resolution of challenges facing the sector.

Source: GNA
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