The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Ghana (COPEC), a civil society group that represents the interest of petroleum consumers in the West African nation, is asking government to introduce measures to stop the increase in fuel prices.
A release signed by its Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah explains that fuel prices have shot up from GHc4.670 to GHc5.10 per litre within a month, making life unbearable for ordinary Ghanaians.
“Although these increases cannot be directly attributed to a deliberate government action, authorities have a responsibility to put in place measures to forestall them,” COPEC stated.
COPEC is stressing that fuel prices within the second pricing-window of December 2020 saw the majority of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) maintaining the prices of gasoline and gasoil unchanged.
Touching on the current national average price of fuel per litre at the pump, it noted that it is pegged at GH5.36 for both gasoline and gasoil.
“For the pricing-window under review, Zen Petroleum Benab Oil, Pacific, So Energy and Alinco Oil sold the least-priced gasoline and gasoil on the local market relative to others in the industry, according to IES Market-scan,” COPEC further said.
With regards to prices of petroleum products, the group said it remained largely stable as predicted by the Institute for Energy Security (IES) in the pricing-window under review.
With the effects of Covid-19 still having dire consequences on Ghanaians, COPEC expected reductions for prices of fuel products at the pumps through the reduction on taxes to bring relief to consumers.
“While admitting the times are pretty tough, we also demand that authorities do not go to sleep but take concrete steps to plan for Ghanaians as far as fuel prices are concerned in order not to be caught flank-footed anytime international price dynamics head south,” COPEC lamented.
It wonders why Ghana, as an oil-producing nation and a net exporter, cannot continue to act as though it is in a hopeless position when it comes to managing fuel prices for its citizens like other oil-producing countries do for their people.
COPEC is, therefore, calling for a clear, effective, national petroleum price immediate sustainable and programme to be initiated to control these increases, arguing that the era of waiting for prices from the international marketing following from geopolitical developments cannot and should not be allowed to continue to work against the unsuspecting Ghanaians.
COPEC, furthermore, is hoping that no additional petroleum taxes are added, contending that any such move would aggravate the already suffering masses, promising to resist any such action fiercely.
“Lastly, we call on Ghana’s authorities to review the protocols on sitting arrangements in public transport systems as the second wave of Covid-19 is known to be spreading very fast currently with existing medical facilities getting over-stretched by the minute,” the statement ended.