Motorists have been the greater beneficiaries of the deregulated regime, as Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have adopted competitive pricing mechanisms to outwit each other, Patrick Kwame Akpe Akorli, the Managing Director of Ghana Oil Company Limited has stated.
In an analytical assessment for the deregulation regime which started on June 16, Mr Akorli told the Ghana News Agency that contrary to fears that OMCs would form cartels and hike petroleum prices, rather the prices had remained marginally low.
He said market watchers had observed a healthy pricing competition among the OMCs, adding “it would be a huge marketing mistake to hike fuel prices as customers and the motoring public have now been alert.
“The motoring public has developed keen interest in the marketing price every two weeks and making financial decisions based on the price…pricing is now a major determining factor for activities at filling stations.”
Mr Akorli said GOIL as the indigenous oil marketing company would continue to price the product in the interest of Ghanaians; saying, “We seek to always offer the lowest price in the market to give Ghanaians a form of relieve.”
The price was increased by four per cent on June 16 and on July 2, increased by 15 per cent, but on July 16, the price was reduced by 14 per cent.
On August 1 it was reduced by four per cent, and on August 16 it was marginally increased by about four per cent.
According to the National Petroleum Authority, document made available to the GNA, the deregulation process has been undertaken in phases to ensure a smooth transition into a liberalised market.
NPA will continue to be an autonomous and independent regulatory Authority by an Act of Parliament, taking care of stakeholders’ interest in the petroleum downstream sector.
The deregulation shall remove the government from the supply and financing of the petroleum requirements of the country and free resources for other developmental projects and programmes like building more roads, more schools, more clinics, more hospitals, improve on national security and many more.
NPA’s role shall include issue notices in the form of directive procedures or warnings to ensure fair competition and prevent cartels, monopolies and predatory pricing in the Industry
To conduct studies, research surveys and analyses for the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry and the protection of the consumer.
To develop a comprehensive database on international petroleum production supply demand inventory and price for the information of the public.
NPA will also review the petroleum pricing formula periodically with the government and OMCs to reflect the private sector environment and best industry practices.
It will monitor and publish “import parity” cost of refined petroleum products into Ghana.
To review and set integrated distribution margin (comprising marketer, dealer and transporter/UPPF margins) to comparable level within the West African sub-region, with a view to promoting competition in the marketing and retailing of products.
According to the NPA, government would not be involved in the pricing of petroleum products, however, government would be represented on the Authority which would undertake periodic reviews of the pricing formula together with the stakeholders.