The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has assured that government will judiciously use the BOST margin.
The margin is a tax imposed on petroleum products, which is used to cover the maintenance and operating cost of petroleum product depots and expansion programmes at the depots.
Currently, it stands at nine pesewas per litre of fuel.
Government has in recent times come under fire to remove the BOST margin, to cushion petroleum product consumers against high fuel prices.
The Minister, speaking at the first Annual General Meeting of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Limited Company, pledged not to scrap the margin after outlining some of the projects that the BOST margin has been able to cover.
“The increase in the BOST margin from six pesewas to nine pesewas per litre in 2021 aided the company to undertake the following major repair works among others; 12 out of 15 decommissioned tanks were brought back to life, upgrade and replacement of loading arms, pumps, and valves across all the depots, Buipe-Bolgatanga petroleum product pipeline was restored, new Tema-Akosombo petroleum product pipeline were bought from Houston and the Bolgatanga petroleum export depot was revived.”
“I can promise that the BOST margin is not going to be taken off petroleum products anytime soon. We will use the BOST margin efficiently and effectively to protect the citizens of this country against the vagaries of private sector interest, which has always been about profits,” he pledged.
The BOST margin was implemented on the price build-up in 2011 to cover the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure at the state company.
In December 2019, it was increased to six pesewas from three, and was later increased again to nine pesewas in 2021 after several demands by BOST.
Back then, stakeholders in the energy sector asked the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to withdraw the increment. They argued that Ghanaians were already facing difficult times due to high petroleum price build-up and fuel prices.
Taxes and levies contribute to almost half of the final ex-pump prices of fuel.
Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh at the AGM also assured of government’s commitment to ensuring fuel security in the country.
This comes amidst recent concerns of fuel shortages in the country following external situations like the Russia-Ukraine war.
To facilitate this, the Minister highlighted the importance of revamping the Tema Oil Refinery to “compliment the efforts of BOST by refining products and delivering same to BOST for storage and distribution to ensure the Ghanaian petroleum product consumer is saved the difficulty of high prices of products either due to the desire to make profit or real global challenges”. – citibusinessnews.com