Gov’t denies fuel shortage reports; says there is enough supply

The government has denied claims that the supply of some petroleum products could be affected this week.

Deputy Energy and Petroleum Minister, Benjamin Dagadu explained to Joy News that the challenge has been with the distribution pattern of the commodity and not necessarily the government’s supposed indebtedness to the distributors.

He said “As at Friday, NPA informed me that there was 96 million litres of diesel in stock so I’m not expecting any shortage at this time.”

Earlier reports Sunday indicated that the supply of some petroleum products could be affected this week if the government failed to address concerns of importers and some commercial banks in the country.

Commercial banks, which supported the importers of the products with Letters of Credit (LCs), have insisted they could no longer offer such help due to increased indebtedness on the part of the importers.

Reports suggested that the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) were indebted to the banks to the tune of $300 million and GH₵400 million in delayed subsidies.

Again, the financial institutions are also complaining of not having enough foreign exchange to meet the demands by the importers.

The importers said there was limited supply of the products on the market and that could possibly compel another fuel shortage in the system, starting this week.

In June, this year, parts of the country were hit by acute fuel shortage with suppliers blaming the government for delays in clearing its debt owed them.

Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs)  Chamber, Senyo Hosi had said in that same month the government owed them GH₵1.5 billion and cautioned that until the money was paid to allow them settle international suppliers, the situation would persist.

In contrast, the Finance Ministry said the amount owed the BDCs was rather GH₵304 million. The Government along the line, settled part of the amount and so there was regular supply of the products on the market.

Breaking down the figures on Joy FM’s Newsnite, Wednesday 25th June, 2014, Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson explained that as at December last year, the government owed the BDCs approximately GH¢204 million out of which GH¢120 million was paid, with a  balance of about GH¢84 million left to be paid.

He indicated that the government again incurred an additional GH¢220 million from January 2014 to June, resulting in a total outstanding debt of GH¢304 million owed the BDCs.

Luv FM’s Prince Appiah, reported from Kumasi that: ‘No Diesel’, was the inscription boldly erected at the entrance of the filling stations he visited.

Seemingly, there was an acute shortage of the product in the area and, according to him, it started Thursday.

Drivers were made to pay extra GH₵3 for every GH₵50 diesel they bought because the product was in short supply.

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