Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority(NPA) Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has entreated the media to keep themselves abreast of the factors that inform petroleum pricing in the country.
He said his outfit with its core mandate to regulate the downstream petroleum industry in Ghana requires them to ensure that the media in the country are well informed in matters of petroleum pricing which is a subject of perennial political capital.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the NPA does not want to just regulate the oil industry in the country but to do so in an informed manner communicated to the public by an informed media in the country.
He said one of the critical issues for his outfit in the downstream regulation of the petroleum industry in the country is that of petroleum pricing which must be communicated well by the media to the general public.
Dr Abdul-Hamid touched on the reason and the constitutional mandate of the NPA, saying it was established to oversee the deregulation of petroleum pricing that has been the subject of political campaigns before the NPA was established in 2005.
He said journalists and the media must be informed about the matters of petroleum pricing mechanisms in order to properly inform the public adequately and truthfully.
Dr Abdul-Hamid called on the media to be educated about the mechanism of petroleum pricing in a deregulated regime and to possess the confidence to challenge the petroleum pundits whenever they come to “miseducate” the public on the mechanisms of petroleum pricing in the country.
He posited that the people the media claim to be experts in the matters of downstream petroleum pricing in Ghana are “not experts at all when you really get down to the nitty-gritty” of the subject.
Dr Abdul-Hamid made this admonition in a news conference at the NPA Conference Room on Wednesday, August 11.
“You are the one that will have to inform the public because I hear all of you in your stations and newspapers saying that the business of journalism is to inform, educate and entertain. So information and education are key in the work that you do. How do you educate people when you yourself are uneducated?”, he quizzed.
He added “And so you ought to be educated yourself on the mechanism of petroleum pricing in a deregulated regime to be able to have the confidence to be able to talk about it. And even more importantly, to even have the confidence to correct so-called pundits when they come on your radio and television stations to as it were purportedly educate the public when what they are doing rather is to miseducate the public.
“I am sure you have a lot of them sitting on your books, when an issue come you say let’s call this expert and the people that we call experts in this whole business of the downstream of petroleum price building mechanism, quite frankly if you were to go beneath the shine you would realize that they are not experts at all”.
Dr Abdul-Hamid pointed out that it behoves on the NPA to educate the media on the subject in order to correct the pundits when they seek to “miseducate” the public on petroleum pricing mechanism in the country on their radios, television, newspapers and online outlets.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana