COPEC hits back at gov’t: Fuel prices to remain unchanged

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Ghana is predicting fuel prices at the pump will remain unchanged despite prediction by government that it will go down by an average of 5.8 per cent this week.

Prices of finished petroleum products on the world market have seen a reduction on the international market by between 6 and 9 per cent over the past two weeks.

This reduction has raised questions about a possible reduction in fuel prices in Ghana.

At a news briefing in Accra Sunday, Deputy Information Minister Pius Enam Hadzide gave the strongest indication of a reduction in fuel prices.

He said petrol prices will reduce by 5.8 per cent, while diesel will go down by 4.8 per cent and LPG 2.46 per cent.

Contrary to government’s claim of a reduction in fuel prices at the pump this week, COPEC in a statement Monday said its checks with some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country show that there will be no reduction.

“Our checks with the various Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) however indicate a notice of the full restoration of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (12p for gasoline and 10p for gasoil) back into the price build up.

“What this means is that the potential reductions at the pumps will be virtually wiped away by the reintroduction of this levy and is most likely to leave pump prices widely unchanged by these OMCs unless this levy is suspended as it has been done in the past by the National Petroleum Authority,” it said.

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COPEC is thus calling on the Ministry of Finance to immediately shelve the reintroduction of the said levy.

It noted that consumers are expectant of reductions at the local pumps to reflect the trends on the international market hence, the Ministry ought to act to make sure this reduction reflects on the local market.

“We consider this move by the Finance Ministry for the reintroduction of the price stabilization and recovery levy at this time as unfair, regressive and avoidable.

“We further reiterate that the usual games and excuses when the time comes for reductions in fuel prices for the consumer to enjoy some relieve from high market prices will not be countenanced and we wish the Ministry will do the right thing with immediate effect to ensure these reductions are not shelved nor denied the Ghanaian people,” COPEC stated.

Meanwhile COPEC is urging the Finance Ministry to completely abolish the price stabilisation and recovery levy within a price deregulation environment, indicating that the basis for the levy is unjustifiable.

The Chamber also called on the various OMCs to ensure any pesewa reduction in prices be duly extended to the consumer and on time, as they usually do when the time comes for increases.

By Irene Amesimeku|| Ghana