The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has insisted the fuel demonstration set for today by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) and Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) is unjustifiable.
“We do recognise that the right to demonstrate for or against any course is a constitutionally guaranteed one and COPEC will be acting within its right as such.
“We are however of the considered view that the reasons for the intended demonstration are anything but noble having regard to the interventions made time and again by the NPA by way of the Price Stabilisation interventions over the past three months,” said a release from the Corporate Affairs Division of the sector regulator.
Explaining the situation, the regulator in its statement said:”Under the current price deregulation regime which has been in effect since July 2015, price volatility on the international market is expected to directly impact domestic pump prices because government has no direct control over the setting of the bi-weekly prices of petroleum products.
The NPA has thus entreated sections of the public who are alarmed by such campaigns against fuel prices to come for further clarity on the current state of petroleum product prices to help “ensure that the public is not misled by those who are motivated by reasons other than those of national interest.”
Meanwhile the NPA has stated what it says is “the truth of the matter”
1. Prices of petroleum products have been on the rise on the international market. For instance, the prices of petrol and diesel on the international market have increased cumulatively by 17% and 19% respectively since November 2017;
2. Under the current price deregulation regime which has been in effect since July 2015, price volatility on the international market is expected to directly impact domestic pump prices because government has no direct control over the setting of the bi-weekly prices of petroleum products;
3. However, being concerned about the impact of the upward trend of international market prices on domestic product prices, government has since December 2017 used upfront, the expected receipts from the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) in the price build-up as a mechanism to bring stability to prices;
4. Since 1st February, 2018, for instance, the PSRL which hitherto were GHp12/Lt on petrol and GHp10/Lt on diesel have been completely neutralized to reduce the impact of rising prices on the international market on Ghanaian consumers. This means that government has forfeited the revenue it would have collected on these products for the period 1st – 15th February, 2018 in order to cushion consumers;
5. This intervention by the government has brought down the expected increase of petrol’s price for the period 1st – 15th February, 2018 from 5.06% to 2.16% and from 3.60% to 1.26% for diesel;
6. Despite the expected increases above after the intervention, the actual price changes observed on the market at the moment range between 0.66% and 1.08%;
7. It is worthy to note that the large majority of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) still have their prices unchanged whilst some have even reduced their prices, and consumers are at liberty to purchase petroleum products from OMCs with competitive prices as expected under a price deregulated regime; and
8. The consuming public is hereby assured that the National Petroleum Authority will continue to monitor the prices of petroleum products on the market to ensure that they are set in conformity with the Prescribed Petroleum Price Formula.
Hundreds of Commercial Drivers and Consumers of Petroleum products are demonstrating in the capital-Accra today over what they say is the persistent increases in the prices of petroleum products.
The protest is being organized by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers(COPEC-GH) in collaboration with the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union(ICU).
An earlier statement released by the Chamber on Tuesday and signed by its Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah said the street protest comes as a result of the worrying fuel hikes particular seen in the past five months with the corresponding hardships these increases had come with.
“Several press releases on the subject matter including a recent press conference addressed by the leader of the largest Workers Union in the Country-ICU, has so far yielded very little results as the increases continues unabated, with the most recent one being yesterday.
“Several attempts to draw the attention of authorities to the need to review the pricing formulae or build up and the taxes has equally not seen yielded any noticeable results including a petition on same matter submitted to the Presidency in the month of September 2017.” the statement noted.