Business News of Wednesday, 27 December 2017
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has ruled out any impact of the fuel shortage in Nigeria on Ghana.
The energy think tank explains that Ghana’s decision to review downwards, its sulphur content for imported petroleum products, limits it from importing fuel from Nigeria.
Nigeria has for the past three weeks been hit with fuel shortages particularly in Lagos and Abuja.
The development has left commuters and drivers stranded.
The government is seeking to improve its refinery system and increase local supply going forward.
But commenting on the issue, the Executive Director for ACEP, Benjamin Boakye told Citi Business News that the move will least affect fuel supplies in Ghana.
“It is a unique situation for Nigeria; I do not see a direct implication on Ghana particularly when we have moved away from the product specification that defined the region. In the past we had similar range of products and therefore Nigeria was driving the market so what was going through Nigeria same time could have reached Ghana, Togo and Benin and sometimes Ivory Coast and so we had one cargo moving throughout the sub-region.”
Mr. Boakye however explained to Citi Business News that the absence of a robust system to improve local production and supply of refined products, could have triggered the massive impact of the shortage.
In his view, the government should work to improve the local base so as not to lose the hindsight benefit of its local content laws.
“I think Nigeria is trying to implement some aggressive local content rules which it intends to take some market away from the big players and I think that is the implication of having an aggressive approach when you do not have strong indigenous companies to drive the market. So it must ensure that consumers and do not suffer from something that is well intended,” he further asserted.
Nigerian authorities to the rescue
Bloomberg reports that the Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Christmas Eve made a surprise visit to petrol stations in the commercial hub Lagos, where motorists had been queuing for hours as the nation grappled with a fuel crisis.
The government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are working to address the issue “as quickly as possible,” Osinbajo was cited as saying in a statement emailed by his office on Monday. “People have gone through a lot of pain and anguish in the past few days, and that is deeply regretted.”
Revamp TOR to save Ghana from similar fate
In a related development, the Institute of Energy Security (IES) has impressed on the government to work to improve Ghana’s local supply of petroleum products.
In IES’s view, the reduction in imports will largely hinge on the ability to revamp operations of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).