Business News of 2014-07-01

Fuel situation in Accra improves

The fuel situation in Accra has improved, following the release of quantities of the product from the country’s strategic reserves to various oil marketing companies (OMCs) and the service stations.

During a visit to some fuel filling stations within the metropolis by the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, fuel was available at those stations and was being sold out to drivers.

At the Shell Filling stations near the 37 Military Hospital and at Legon, the queue were gone as drivers were seen driving in to buy fuel without joining any queues and driving out without hindrance.

Some managers of filling stations, in their bid to inform drivers of the availability of petrol, stood by the roadside to signal drivers to that effect.

Meanwhile, at other filling stations, some people were seen with big plastic containers buying large quantities of fuel.

When asked, a man who gave his name as Nana Kwame said he had been sent by his master to buy 10 gallons of fuel in anticipation of a future shortage of petrol.

Background

The country was hit by a massive shortage of fuel following speculations that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) would, from today, July 1, increase the prices of petroleum products.

Reports were rife that some fuel stations were hoarding fuel in anticipation of the expected increases in prices.

The situation led to chaotic scenes at many fuel stations, particularly in Accra, as drivers queued, waiting for their vehicles to be fuelled.

The government, as part of measures to address the situation and restore normalcy, released fuel from the country’s strategic reserves of petroleum products from the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Company to various the OMCs.

Assurance

Mr Buah, who expressed satisfaction with the situation on the ground, said efforts were being made to avoid the situation recurring.

He assured the public that enough fuel would be released onto the market and that “there is no need for panic buying”.

According to him, there was enough petrol to last more than two weeks, adding that more fuel products would soon arrive in the country.

“We are also engaging with other stakeholders, including the police and the NPA, to ensure that negative behaviours such as petrol hoarding and illegal operations were dealt with,” Mr Buah added.