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Business News of Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

COPEC threatens court action over hiked fuel prices

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) is contemplating court action to coerce Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country to reduce fuel prices at the pumps.

The intending legal action comes after the global price of crude oil went down by almost 30 percent, the lowest in four years.

COPEC believes that it is a fair bargain for OMCs to reduce fuel prices in agreement with the deregulation policy which allows fuel stations to increase their prices when price goes up and vice versa.

Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, gave OMCs a one-week ultimatum to effect price change or get served a legal suit.

“We are saying that there is every justification for the prices at the pumps to be reduced. If this is not done by the end of the week, we will have no option but to go to the court. I don’t think the court will allow the OMCs to cheat the public,” he said.

COPEC is specifically looking at a 10 percent reduction in petroleum prices at the pumps.

“If we use today’s price, then the fall in the International price of crude oil is more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year. We have seen also the cedi appreciate also for more than 5.6 percent from the beginning of the year, yet the local price has not gone down by more than 5 percent from the beginning of the year,” Mr. Amoah argued.

“That is woefully inadequate. So, one would have expected that these two key variables, the international price of crude oil and also the local currency’s appreciation against the US dollar would have given consumers some form of relief, and we thought that if prices go down, then of course, it goes to support positively the disposable income of Ghanaians,” he added.

He further disagreed with arguments that said a reduction may be too early since the prices of crude change rapidly.

“OMCs do not wait for a longer time to increase prices when it is in their interest”.

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