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Business News of Wednesday, 23 February 2022


Blame fuel hikes on deregulation of petroleum sector - Energy Expert

File photo a fuel pump File photo a fuel pump

The Executive Director for the Institute for Energy Research and Policy, Kwadwo Poku, has blamed the constant fluctuations in fuel prices on the deregulation of the petroleum sector.

According to the energy expert, he led an attempt to caution the fuel regulatory bodies on the dangers of deregulating the petroleum sector to the benefits of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs)

Kwadwo Poku indicated that the current fuel prices could have been controlled and minimized in an appropriate manner, should have the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) heed to warnings.

Speaking to Don Kwaben Prah on Happy98.9 FM’s Epa Hoa Daben socio-political talk show, Kwadwo Poku, said, “The fuel pricing in Ghana now is a serious problem and this can be traced back in January 2020 when we wrote to the NPA.

We advised they rethink the deregulation approach as we analyzed that it would only be a disadvantage to Ghanaians. During that year when covid hit the world, we noticed a few things in the energy sector.

Before that we always said ‘A good sword should cut both ways.’ Whenever fuel prices go up a bit, our OMCs are always in a hurry to increase their rates but when it drops, they struggle to do same.

However, in 2020, the international fuel prices decreased drastically but the OMCs were very reluctant to reduce their rates and brought it to Ghc 4.

We spoke to these oil marketers but they indicated that they are trying to make up for their losses.

It remained there till after lockdowns where the international rates started rising and there, we raised ours from Ghc 4.

That is one of the reasons which has led to the high cost of fuel prices. What the OMCs did was to increase their Marketers and dealers’ margin when the international prices went down.

Some went up to 80p per litre and left the prices at Ghc4. So, when the international prices started to go up, they started to increase prices from Ghc 4.”

He further disclosed that after several meetings and presentations to the regulatory bodies, they have continued to be neglected as a concerned body.

The Government of Ghana implemented the price deregulation of petroleum products in June 16, 2015, with the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) determining prices rather than the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

This was anticipated to result in effective competition in the petroleum sector, increasing consumer welfare by offering consumers lower prices of petroleum products.