Feature Article of Friday, 29 September 2006

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Let Ghanaians be free from high fuel prices

If we compare and contrast the current crude oil market prices at the spot rate of $61.49, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) should further reduce the fuel prices to 26.300 cedis. This is a great opportunity for John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration to seize this chance to get the upper hand on fuel reduction. Instead, he has allowed the NPA to decide his economic legacy. The current reduction was an insult to Ghanaians and the country’s over all economic growth.

The National Petroleum Authority should realize that they cannot determine fuel prices for Ghanaians. They should allow the current world prices to also determine the fuel prices. The Kufuor administration should realize that Ghanaians are demanding further reduction of their price. Even in the U.S, fuel price are been sold for $2.50. Why should Ghanaians still pay 36,466.61 cedis that is almost $4.00 per gallon?

The National Petroleum Authority cannot determine the crude oil price. Only three things can determine the world oil prices: if OPEC starts reducing crude oil production; political uncertainties around the world; and lastly, environmental uncertainties in one of the oil producing countries. Even the commodity speculators who have sent the crude oil prices gushing high have the notion that the price will further decline in the market due to the new technologies in auto industry. The NPP administration must acknowledge that in order for the country to achieve solid economic growth in over all GPD and GNP the fuel prices must further go down.

The current administration should also stop following western nation economic policies. Most of these western nations have had their independence for over two hundred years. Their countries have solid industry economies that have made them economically self-sufficient. The majority of Ghanaians are finding the economic situation very hard to meet daily needs for themselves and their families. The government needs to do what is right for the poeple and stop imposing this conservative ideology on unemployed Ghanaians. This government has forgotten that a country that runs its economy on monetary police and fiscal policy needs to keep inflation down by increasing spending, not reducing spending. The more the government reduces fuel prices; more consumers will also increase their spending and that will heighten the economy.

I strongly believe that John Attafuah, and his NPA authorities whom John Agyekum Kufuor has given the hegemony powers to decide fuel prices for Ghanaians will not soon decide to take action to protected themselves from future oil prices by going to hedge in future markets. As Sam Jonah lost a lot of revenues from the Ashanti goldfields in future forward markets and locked up prices. This is a president who does not have any knowledge about monitoring economic issues that are so vital to his presidency but allowing some people who are speculators to make a bad economic decision on his behalf. As a result of these poor policies, the common people in Ghana cannot assimilate into the global economic system. On behalf of all Ghanaians, I warn John Attafuah the national petroleum authority chief executive officer not even think of using the oil company to hedge on forward future market prices because the current spot rate on crude oil markets price will continued to thrive.

Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.