Ghana’s new taxes on petroleum products are beyond acceptable levels for a developing country, according to the African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Business Day Ghana reports. According to the energy think tank, the IMF’s standard rate for petroleum products in developing countries range between 22% – 30%, while recent taxes on petroleum products in Ghana amount to more than 40%, ACEP reports. Currently, Ghana’s petrol and diesel prices are among the highest in the world.

The government puts the official price adjustment, instituted on January 1st, between 18% – 28%, however, ACEP points out that the government may have deceived citizens, who have seen a 33% increase in petrol prices and a 40% increase in diesel prices.

ACEP’s Executive Director, Amin Adam, stressed that the Ghanaian government’s Special Petroleum Tax represents double taxation: “After the price [of petroleum products] has been determined, government now imposes another 17.5% tax known as the Special Petroleum Tax,” he said. “Tax on tax because the Special Petroleum Tax is a tax on ex-pump price, which already contains all these levies and taxes.”

ACEP added that high taxation affected Ghana’s ability to attract investment and put unnecessary hardship on Ghanaians. “Ghanaians are being asked to pay much more. We least expected that Ghana will go outside the developing bracket,” stated Adam.