According to the Executive Secretary of IES, Paa Kwesi Anamoah Sekyi, an analysis of the trend in fuel prices on the international market can better inform the government on what measures to take to cushion citizens ahead of an expected price increment.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday [August 20, 2018], he said although there isn’t much the government about the regular price increments, it can take some decisions locally to arrest the situation.
Among other things, he cited the cedi’s poor performance against the US dollar as one of the reasons for price hikes.
There was a 2% increment in the price of fuel at the pumps, indicating about a 10% rise in fuel price since the beginning of the year.
The situation has seen some vehicle owners lament over the challenge the case will pose to them, while there is uncertainty over whether or not prices of transport fares for passengers in commercial vehicles will be increased.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), in a statement on Sunday, said the fuel price increases could not continue as it threatens only to worsen the plight and hardships of the ordinary Ghanaian and impact negatively on economic activities within the country.
It further called for a national dialogue would create a platform to ensure a review of the current pricing formula although international factors largely determine it.
But Paa Kwesi Anamoah Sekyi told Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News proposed that BOST must be resourced to buy petroleum products in bulk in advance ahead of an expected price hike and released relatively to Bulk Distribution Companies when prices go up on the international market.
“We have some level of control over even the international price and how much we want to buy it for and what mechanism we’ll use to buy it. And when it comes to the local front, you’ll understand that these importers bring in the product at dollar rates and sell it in cedi terms… and so if we don’t manage our cedi and dollar relations and we see the cedi depreciating all the time against the dollar, then we have a problem and so we think that, in our local front, we have some form of control.”
“Let’s change the policy direction of BOST. Are we going to resource BOST? Do they have good traders to trade with and buy the products and keep it during low tides so that when we come into summer when prices are about to go up, we release some of these products fairly to all BDCs? We have some level of control, even if it is minimal,” he said.
Mr. Sekyi further backed calls for a national dialogue on the matter.
COPEC, ICU lead drivers in a demonstration
COPEC in February 2018 joined the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and drivers to protest against the increasing price of fuel.
The demonstration was to force the government to reduce taxes on petroleum products.
The National Petroleum Authority [NPA], however, said the protests were being held in bad faith as the price increase at the time was negligible.