Business News of Wed, 19 Oct 20162
Fuel increase: NPA playing mischief – COPECGH
The denial by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) concerning recent reports of fuel price increases smacks of “mischief”, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPECGH), Duncan Amoah, has stated.
COPECGH had on Monday October 17 announced that fuel prices had gone up between three and 11 per cent in line with the fortnightly review of petroleum prices in the country. The chamber in its report indicated that diesel prices had seen an increase of between eight and 11% on current ex pump prices, while petrol prices sold between three and five per cent across most Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), though the figures were yet to reflect directly at the various pumps.
However, the NPA, in a swift denial on Tuesday October 18, in a statement asked the public to disregard such information.
In clarifying the matter, the NPA added: “The Authority encourages consumers and the media to check on the price boards of retail stations to determine the true prices of fuel on the market and not rely on data from any group of persons who purport to project fuel prices, which always turn out to be poor and inaccurate.
“When in doubt, consumers and the media should check with NPA’s website or the bi-weekly publications of retail prices of OMCs published in the Daily Graphic, the Ghanaian Times, and the Gazette by the Assembly Press for accurate information on the retails of fuel by OMCs.”
But in an interview with Accra News, Mr Amoah said the NPA was being insincere with the facts on the ground.
“It would be surprising that the NPA, being a regulator, has no idea there have been increases in petroleum prices and is telling Ghanaians there have been no increases so people should discount reports…” the COPECGH boss told Nana Ama Agyarko, adding: “Clearly the NPA has some mischief to play” but said he was happy that checks from the station’s reporters had found information confirming the fact that “petrol prices have indeed been increased”.
He said per the chamber’s checks from visits to some fuel stations on Tuesday, the increases were between three and six percent, which he said was firmly within the range of increase it had reported.
“If it is some PR (public relations) that someone has intended that Ghanaians should be told there have not been increases…I am quite certain that mischief has been effectively cured,” Mr Amoah noted
According to him, only a week ago some BDCs were hoarding fuel because prices had gone up and selling at the old prices was leading to losses.
He added: “It was for such reason we said last week that the government should do something about taxes [on petroleum] and that if it failed to act, it would lead to something undesirable such as increase in the price of petroleum.
“And now that the [fuel] increases are here with us, it seems the NPA has now decided to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians and deny any news of the increase.”
The COPECGH boss advised: “The regulator should at least be able to provide us with accurate figures.”