Business News of 2014-07-01

Comment: Fuel shortage very costly

Governments have always invested in the communications network in order to provide the conducive environment for businesses to blossom. That is why huge amounts of investment are made in that sector to put road, air and sea transport in good shape to facilitate the movement of people and goods.

There is a general feeling of satisfaction among the motoring public that the road transport sector has witnessed some growth over the years. Except for the rising cost of road transport resulting from hikes in fuel prices and other inputs, commuters hardly struggle to access commercial transport to their destinations.

While the sector grows, Ghanaians have always contested the government’s agenda of full cost recovery for services in the petroleum and utility sectors. The government‘s programme has always been met with public outcry against the rising cost of living in a situation where safety nets to cushion the vulnerable and poor in society are missing.

The present shortage of petroleum products, particularly gasoline, is the result of the government’s inability to absorb subsidies on petroleum products, resulting in government’s indebtedness of GH¢1.8 billion to the bulk oil distribution companies (BDCs).

Although the figure has been disputed by the government, the BDCs carried out their threat to stop supplies to the oil marketing companies (OMCs), resulting in the spectacle at the fuel stations.

The situation at fuel stations throughout the country has been described as very chaotic because of the long queues and disorder that are experienced by motorists as they struggle to be served.

The shortage has also created a boom in the underground market and panic buying, and as of yesterday evening most fuel stations did not have fuel. Those that had were inundated by owners of cars, motorbikes and plastic containers looking for the scarce commodity.

The government has assured the motoring public that it was on course to resolving the problem. It has also apologised to the public. The Daily Graphic thinks that the assurances are not enough. We should look at what has brought us to this chaotic situation and take steps to avoid a recurrence in future.

It is unacceptable to be without a very essential commodity for almost a week. The shortage of fuel has caused a major dislocation in the economy and caused pain to motorists and the travelling public.

The Daily Graphic thinks the problem should not offer another opportunity, as usual, for the blame game but that we should collectively find solutions to what has virtually brought our economy on its knees.

Source: graphic.com
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