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General News of Friday, 28 December 2012


Fuel shortage hits Accra

Acute fuel shortage has hit major cities in the country with drivers and other users of petroleum products hopping from one fuel station to the other in search of the commodity.

Today can confirm that the shortage emanates from the inability of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) to streamline the importation of crude oil and refined products from the world market.

Since the assumption of power, the NDC administration has increased fuel prices drastically in contrast to its policy of ‘reducing fuel prices drastically’ as promised by the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

It is therefore expected that the Mahama administration would also increase fuel prices soon as the intensity of the shortage can lead to a major crisis in the country within the next ten days, Today gathered.

As of press time yesterday, a visit by Today news team to some fuel stations in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tema, Tamale, and Koforidua revealed an inscription of No Fuel.

The No Fuel inscription which indicated that the fuel stations had run out of fuel products was boldly embossed on a small board to draw the attention of motorists of the shortage.

In Accra in particular, our team observed long-winding vehicular queues at fuel stations along the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the Achimota stretch of the Accra-Nsawam Highway.

Frustrated drivers who spoke to this paper confirmed that they had been to three or more fuel filling stations in the metropolis but could not get fuel buy.

“We know that people are creating artificial shortage so as to encourage panic-buying, so that in case the price is increased, they would benefit immensely…,” an angry driver complained.

They therefore appealed to the government to take measures to stock more fuel to avoid the inconveniences people are facing now.

The initial reaction to the recent increases in the price of petroleum products seems to be muffled, as Ghanaians appear to accept the increases as a necessary evil.

The shortage, Today estimates, would be severe with an expected re-enactment of the phenomenon of Ghanaians carrying along gallons in search of petroleum products.

The situation, the paper can predict, would lead in an increase in the price of basic commodities in the country. The World Bank recently pressured the then Mills-led NDC administration to abolish subsidies on petroleum products in the country.

If the Mahama-led NDC administration caves to similar pressure, prices may increase even more.

To help address this problem, the 2012 flag bearer of the Progressive people’s Party (PPP,) Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has been advocating for the creation of a petro-chemicals industry in Ghana.

In the run-up to the 2012 polls, Dr. Nduom stressed the PPP’s commitment to build a petro-chemicals industry to refine Ghanaian and internationally sourced crude would increase the supply of Petrol and other consumer products in Ghana.

Dr. Nduom explained that has been done successfully in countries such as South Korea and would lead to lower prices for Ghanaian consumers.

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