Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Taxi Tales: "They are Killing Us!"

It has become an article of my quotidian walking diet to stop by the Spintex Road GOIL filling station to either pick a taxi, or walk home. Depending on my mood, I pick a taxi. Last night was no exception.

There was a slight difference in the usual silence that rings through from the filling station to my house some six minutes away from GOIL. Usually, I am so knackered, I allow myself to converse with my thoughts. Yesterday, the difference was in the mini-conversation I had with the taxi-driver after he said that I would be charged GHC1.20--instead of GHC1.00. He told me that yesterday was "the last day" he would be charging me that rate, which I found interesting, considering I have never seen him around that area before.

Oh well.

He went on to say that "they" were "killing us". I knew exactly whom he was talking about. Generally, he was referring to the government; specifically to the National Petroleum Authority that has, yet again, allowed Ghanaians to suffer and experience the vagaries of the fluctuation of oil prices on the market.

Joy Online, in its report put it this way:

This is the second time petroleum products prices have been adjusted in less than a month and the third since October 2007.

The Public Relations Officer of the NPA Steven Larbie tells Joy Business report that the reviews will no more be done monthly but according to price movements of crude oil on the world market.

What it means is that a gallon of petrol now sells at 4 Ghana cedis 68 pesewas or 46,800 cedis; while a gallon of diesel is 4 Ghana cedis 63 pesewas or 46,350 cedis

Putting these prices into context, you can understand why the consumers will have to pay the taxi-drivers. I have had quite a few tales of these over the past few days--and I really cannot blame them.

What I do think is extortionist is when the taxi-drivers decide, consequently, to offer arbitrary prices, knowing fully well that they are providing us with the service, and so without them, we cannot get to our destination!

Whatever the case may be, it's true, this government is killing the average consumer's disposable income.

That, on top of these high prices, one spends around GHC50.00 to buy the equivalent of electricity that would have taken me (before November 1st) almost three weeks for, now, just under two weeks!
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