The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has stated that Ghana does not have the luxury to continue doing politics with prices of petroleum products.
He said it had become necessary for the National Petroleum Authority to use market forces to fix prices as and when necessary.
At a forum with editors and senior journalists in Accra yesterday, Mr Buah noted that the continued provision of subsidy on petroleum products over the years, which had resulted in the piling up of the Tema Oil Refinery debts, could not be allowed to continue.
He said Ghanaians should be educated to come to terms with the fact that such subsidies could be used to fund projects that would benefit the poor in the society.
“Let us not continue to deceive ourselves. No politician has control over factors that determine prices of petroleum products. It is a fact; we cannot make the energy sector a political football, ” the minister stated in an answer to a question.
Touching on the provision of electricity in the country, he said, the country had “gone past the planned national programme on load shedding”.
Ghana Gas Project
On the Ghana Gas Project, the minister stated that financial challenges that confronted the project had been cleared to enable it to sail smoothly.
He announced that although the situation would lead to a delay in the completion of the project, the country would get gas supply from the project by January or February, 2014.
The minister stated that plans had been put in place to guide Ghanaians who would want to go into the petroleum sector.
He said the Local Content Legislative Instrument that was laid before Parliament recently had a provision that would make foreigners team up with Ghanaians in the oil business.
The minister gave a promise to continue to engage stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues in the energy sector and commended the media for its role in bringing up issues of flaws in the system to the attention of the authorities.
By Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah, Accra