COPEC: Fuel prices to go up today – again

Fuel prices are likely to rise again this week, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has hinted.

The Chamber, in a statement, said its attention has been drawn to a memo from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) dated Friday, 13 December 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, according to COPEC, is expected to take effect today, Monday, 16 December 2019, all oil marketing companies (OMCs) and LPG marketing companies (LPG-MCs) are to apply an upward review of a combined 4 pesewa 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 [today] as the cedi continues to depreciate,” the Chamber said.

This move by the NPA to slap additional levies on fuel prices as Christmas draws closer, according to COPEC, makes “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.”

While COPEC admits the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation company (BOST) needs some capital injection in their operations, the Chamber said it is completely needless to push such needed investments into their operations onto the already high fuel price build-up.

The statement, signed by the Executive Secretary, Mr Duncan Amoah, added that: “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.”

It said what BOST needs, currently, is restructuring and repositioning to make it sustainable such that it does not become a burden on the already burdened fuel consumer.

COPEC suggested that 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.

COPEC further reminded the NPA that it has no such authority to impose new taxes, levies, or margins without the appropriate approvals by parliament and, hence, its memo must be withdrawn immediately and reconsidered as COPEC will not hesitate to test the law on this particular move to further burden Ghanaians.

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