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Business News Fri, 4 Feb 2005

Nduom Makes Case for Oil Deregulation

- says it'll make Ghana major oil partner

THE former Minister of Energy, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom has disclosed that deregulation of the petroleum sector is not only about the pricing of petroleum products in the country.


He explained that the concept of deregulation in the petroleum sector is basically to expand the sector and make Ghana a major trading partner in the petroleum industry and encourage the private sector to inject capital into the industry.


Speaking on JOY FM's Super Morning Show Program yesterday, the former minister disclosed that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is the second largest refinery in the sub-region.


He explained that there are certain laws that allow TOR to benefit by importing petroleum products, which does not contribute to the growth of the private sector adding that such laws must be taken away to pave way for the private sector to bring efficiency into the industry.


Dr. Nduom disclosed that hitherto, the government was the sole importer of petroleum products but the private sector was recently given the opportunity to also import them to supplement the government's.

He stated that in the petroleum sector when deregulation is near completion, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA)must be set up to take up the performance of the sector's importers and distributors of the products including pricing to ensure the protection of the ordinary consumer.


According to the former minister, the National Petroleum Tender Board was not effective because it had not been given the right authority by law to perform its functions.


Dr Ndom suggested that the (NPTB) should monitor the activities of the private sector to help maintain a uniform price for the petroleum products in the country when the deregulation policy is implemented.


He added that the government must take up steps to protect the working class; the poor and the premix fuel consumers so that Regulation Authority would have enough powers to ensure proper productivity.


He suggested that the government should find a way of supporting the Ghanaian consumers in terms of mass transportation in rail services to make life more bearable for all.

Dr. Nduom disclosed that the government had subsidized prices of petroleum products to the tune of about ?1.8 trillion last year alone, maintaining that statistical analysis proves that petroleum products have changed drastically in countries like United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria.


The former Minister stated further that the decision of the deregulation policy had been completed and was therefore set for implementation and how the public gets informed about it to accept the concept.


In his conclusion, he advised Ghanaians to consider the type of cars to use since some luxury cars consume more fuel.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle