Kobina Tahir Hammond, Member of Parliament for the Adansi-Asokwa Constituency has explained that contrary to public perception, MPs pay for their fuel without any subsidy.
The comment was made as he clarified a recent comment to the effect that he had said he did not buy fuel because he didn’t own a car. The said comment was apparently made in jest on Day One (November 15) of the ad-hoc committee of Parliament probing a vote of censure motion brought against the embattled Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta.
Hammond is a co-chair of the committee along with Dominic Ayine.
At the beginning of Day Two of the committee’s sitting (November 17), KT Hammond made clarifications to his earlier statement: “On Tuesday, I did not make any categorical such statement as to whether I buy fuel or I don’t, you should be able to distinguish various segments of what anybody speaks.”
He tasked the media to do better by reporting comments with context and capturing the full import of what is said.
“Let me get it on record, Members of Parliament buy fuel, we don’t have any coupons, we don’t have rebates, we don’t have anything, we are suffering the same way every Ghanaian is suffering.
The fuel price situation is one plank of the general rise in the cost of living bedeviling the Ghanaian economy. Price hikes have affected especially transportation fares which have increased steadily across the year.
Incidentally, the MP, only weeks ago had shared an experience where he nearly fought a fuel attendant after he thought he had been shortchanged only to be alerted to the new prices of the commodity.
“We appreciate it, it’s been put on record many times, we all know what is going on, it is not a matter that anybody is running away from, we are all in it together. How we get out of it is also in the hands of all of us, let us get the reportage fairly right,” he stressed.
In rebutting a point about rising fuel costs raised by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu on day one of the committee sitting, November 15, the Adansi Asokwa MP said, “I don’t buy fuel, I don’t have a car, so I don’t buy fuel.”