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Business News Mon, 16 Dec 2019

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Withdraw the ‘insensitive’ increase in fuel prices – COPEC directs NPA

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC) has called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to withdraw its decision to further increase the already high petroleum price in the country.

NPA’s directive, which is taking effect today, December 16, 2019 has 4 pesewas increment on Ghanaian pump prices.

In a press release sighted by GhanaWeb, COPEC noted that “fuel prices across pumps within the country went up by some 1% just last week following from days of sharp depreciation of the cedi and is believed could go up further in the next window starting tomorrow as the cedi continues to depreciate”.

“This move by the NPA to slap additional levies on fuel prices at this critical point of Christmas makes a complete nonsense of the efforts by the Finance Ministry and the BOG to intervene to ensure availability of dollars at this time for petroleum importation with the view to forestalling any further increases on already neck-breaking fuel prices in the country,” the group stressed.

Whiles admitting BOST needs some capital injection in their operations, they also noted that is was needless for them to push such investments onto the already high fuel price build-up.

Read below the full statement

CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA

ACCRA

15/12/2019

WITHDRAW THE INSENSITIVE INCREASES IN BOST MARGINS AT THE TIME THE CEDI DEPRECIATION IS ALREADY TAKING A TOLL ON FUEL PRICES

Our attention has been drawn to a Memo from the National Petroleum Authority ( NPA ) dated Friday 13/12/2019, to all Petroleum Service Providers indicating a decision to further increase some elements on the already high petroleum price build up and fuel prices.

Per the directive which is expected to take effect tomorrow, 16/12/2019, all Oil Marketing Companies ( OMCs ) and LPG Marketing Companies ( LPG-MCs ) are to apply an upward review of a combined 4 pesewas increase to Ghanaian pump prices.

Per the directive, the controversial BOST margin which currently stands at 3p/litre or some cumulative 10,200,000.00 from consumers is to be increased by 100% to a new rate of 6p/ litre or some cumulative 20,400,000.00 from consumers based on current conservative estimates of some 340 million litres of fuel consumed monthly, the UPPF component also gets increased by 4.7% or 1p from the current 21p/litre to 22p/ litre or some 3,420,000.00 cumulative monthly.

Fuel prices across pumps within the country went up by some 1% just last week following from days of sharp depreciation of the cedi and is believed could go up further in the next window starting tommorow as the cedi continues to depreciate.

This move by the NPA to slap additional levies on fuel prices at this critical point of Christmas makes a complete nonsense of the efforts by the Finance Ministry and the BOG to intervene to ensure availability of dollars at this time for petroleum importation with the view to forestalling any further increases on already neck-breaking fuel prices in the country.

Whiles admitting BOST needs some capital injection in their operations, it is completely needless to push such needed investments into their operations onto the already high fuel price build-up and affirms our long-held position of the need to properly restructure that institution to cut back on the completely needless waste of resources at the said institution.

Some Past managers of BOST are widely known to have simply fleeced the company for their private gains and till date, not a single one of them has been made to account or refund whatever they probably looted.

The proverbial adage of using a basket to fetch water seems to be case in this instance as we believe other private depots and Tema oil refinery who do not get any margins at all for the maintenance of their tank farms from the price build-up are able to manage their operations and even record profits sometimes but the inverse seems the case with BOST.

It is a widely held contention that what BOST needs currently is restructuring and repositioning to make it sustainable such that it doesn't become a burden on the already burdened fuel consumer.

Attempts should be made to diversify Bost and where necessary list on the stock market to ensure the continuous plundering of resources by appointees within this institution is effectively curtailed.

We use this opportunity to further remind the NPA it has no such authority to impose new taxes, levies, or margins without the appropriate approvals by parliament and hence this memo must be withdrawn immediately and reconsidered as we will not hesitate to test the law on this particular move to further burden all of us within the country.

The apparent insensitivity by some functionaries of State must also cease forthwith as it is becoming evident the suffering of the trotro, taxi and ordinary Ghanaians falls on deaf ears anytime we complain of these increases.

Signed.

Duncan Amoah

Executive Secretary

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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