Fuel price: Expect things to get worse by December

Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Duncan Amoah, says government has failed to plan and prepare for a global petroleum crisis and its effect on Ghana’s local economy as is currently happening.

According to him, the current steep hikes in the prices of petroleum products are a reaction to the country’s lack of planning and preparation.

He stated that several attempts to get the government to address these concerns have been met with inaction and defensive positions.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition, he said, “We are not simply planning for our people. We’re getting into very difficult times and between now and December it’s not going to be child’s play.

“We keep saying these things so that action could be taken to avert any catastrophe. We don’t get to see too much of the action. You would rather hear justifications, rationalisations, and attempts to defend sometimes things that we should be moving away from.”

He noted that it is rather precarious that the country’s fuel supply solely depends on what private Bulk Distribution Companies are able to store.

He added that the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation facility (BOST) which was set up to store crude oil to augment supply during difficult times such as these has deviated from its purpose, and is engaging in trade.

“There was a good reason for which we put up a bulk oil storage and transportation facility. I have said that has been modeled just similar to the Oklahoma cushion in the United States. What they are able to do is to store crude for as long as they could so that when times are difficult, they can release crude onto the market just to augment, I mean, simply help. So they plan for the rainy day. We fail to plan.

“We simply buy and sell, that’s all we do. And for which reason if you read a lot of the papers yesterday, BOST is making profits at the time that I am worried about what I pay for fuel, at the time that I still pay for a certain BOST margin to maintain a facility; at a time that I still pay PDM for BOST to move products from depot to depot; the only benefit that I am getting is that BOST says that it has made profit. Well, it will sound good.

“But go back to what you were set up for in 1993 when we decided as a country to have a buffer. That buffer was not meant to be there for profit, it was meant to be there to cushion everybody in difficult or times of distress as we find ourselves,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I said it elsewhere today while the country Ghana is probably heading for the Kumasi road, BOST is headed for Takoradi,” he added.

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