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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Deregulation of Petroleum Sector hits Accra by storm

Accra is reeling under the pressure of the government's decision to raise fuel prices. This wasn't just the impression created by radio broadcasters on stations, such as Joy FM, or my fave station -- CITI FM -- but just a general impression around.

The date was given of 15 February, and so people have panicked against pictures like these {see below}:
No Fuel?!

Just this morning on way to work -- thankfully I got a lift from Mr.K_ -- heard on Joy 99.7fm that Dr.Paa Kwesi Nduom was the one that had initiated this deregulation. Actually, it was suggested, but I kind wonder why an ostensibly hardcore CPP-man, hailing from the Nkrumahist tradition, is promulgating, as it were, a policy that would have been inimical to our first president of Ghana, who initiated a planned and central economy!

WHat an irony...

But all that aside, the excuse is that it is the former administration -- NDC -- which one report described its policies as a "bastardisation" of Nkrumah's policies { I think this was on the CDD website} that started the deregulation process. This much was confirmed by new Minister of Energy Professor Mike Ocquaye who argued last week in that so-called workshop at LaPalm Beach Hotel that it was all the fault of the NDC, and that it, actually, isn't a bad thing!!

Anyway Albert Q is speaking on CITI Prime News at Midday to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)

Mrs.Abba-Loco (sp?)"There are figures to show that...was 2.5 Currently, we are doing 3.2 million litres. That is for petrol. It shot up...so you can agree with me that we are doing our very best."

Albert Quarshiga: "my contention here is that...most of the fuel stations we visited this morning, pressure is very low...much is not being supplied...sales are nor reflecting on the market.."

Mrs Abba-Loco:"we have done our own monitoring. There is no shortage in...in Tema, we don't have problems. We are also doing our own monitoring just to find out the nature of the problem..."

I suspect that the so-called OMCs, or oil-marketing companies, have a lot to do with what is going down in t he capital. That people are hording fuel to sell for profit suggests that the confusion that appears prevalent is critical to be broached. People are scared. They are alarmed that they know the date, yet government is not confirming.

So, who can really blame them.

And, besides, if what they said at that petroleum deregulation "workshop" is true, then it means that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) not yet constituted has a lot to do!

watch this space...

latest stories:
Fuel Crisis: Queues Hit Accra, K’si
No Price Hikes From Budget
Fuel Crisis: Panic Buying Ahead Of Expected Hikes

=========================
Tema, Feb. 15, GNA - The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) says it has enough fuel to supply and that the public has no cause to panic. "Our plant is still working so there is no cause for alarm because we have never stopped supplying in a day," said Mrs Aba Lokko, the refinery's Public Affairs Manager.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), she said TOR would continue to fill over 300 fuel tankers daily and that any shortage may have come from the retail stations.

She said TOR was currently not only supplying regularly but had also increased the quantity of its daily supplies to the market.

For instance from February 6, to February 11, this year, the refinery increased its daily average petrol supply from 2.5 million litres to between 3.1 and 3.9 million litres.

She said diesel supply for the same period also increased from 2.8 million litres per day to between 3.2 million litres and 4.1 million litres.

When GNA visited some filling stations around 1000 hours, there were small queues, which according to some drivers, was because some retail stations had refused to sell the products over the weekend in anticipation of price increases.
A driver at 'Community five' taxi terminal, on condition of anonymity, said it was an artificial shortage due to hoarding by some fuel station owners.




Source: GNA

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again, watch this space...

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