Ghanaians have been warned to brace up to pay more for fuel if the local currency, the cedi, continues to depreciate against the dollar.
For the last three months, fuel prices have been reviewed upwards pushing consumers to squeeze additional monies for fuel purchases.
Even though the price of crude oil at the international market is still hovering at 55 dollars a barrel, the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar means Ghanaians have to pay more for fuel.
The price build for fuel in Ghana is largely influenced by currency performance, prices of oil on the international market as well taxes imposed or abolished.
A change in each of these could either lead to an increase or decrease in prices of fuel in Ghana, even though the prices have barely been reviewed downwards.
With the cedi still on a free fall against the major currencies, fuel prices on the local market is set to experience another upward review.
Under the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector the OMCs review prices of petroleum products every two weeks. However since the January, 2017, prices have been reviewed every week. The petroleum products have increased between 8 and 11 percent within the first week of January. This was also followed by an increase of between 4 and 10 percent last week.
Consumers have been protesting the rampant increases.
Speaking to Joy News, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Duncan Amoah painted a rather gloomy scenario.
“We are saying that the government should, through the Bank of Ghana, work to stabilize the cedi in order to be able to curtail the rampant increases we are seeing.
In the absence of that, these things are likely to continue and we are likely to have much further increases at pump prices going forward,” he suggested.
As a result of the increases the prices of kerosene, diesel and super are ranging from 3 cedis to 5 cedis per litre and it could increase further with the fall of the cedi.
Duncan said not only should government stabilize the cedi, it must give some minimum dispensation to petroleum importers in the country to allow more competitiveness in the sector.