Business News of Tuesday, 6 February 2018
Minister for Energy Boakye Agyarko says the government has taken note of the concerns Ghanaians are raising about the rising cost of petrol/diesel in the country and is therefore considering various options to deal with the trend.
“We are taking this matter seriously,” he said
Boakye Agyarko who blamed the situation on the Saudi Arabia and Russia’s decision to cut down their oil production of 5million barrels per day by 20%, noted that fuel prices would have continued to go down if the two major crude oil producing countries had not cut down production.
The decrease in production, the Minister noted is what has occasioned the crude oil price to shoot up to over $64 per barrel from $50 per barrel initially.
As at Monday, February 5, 2018, the Brent Crude is quoted at $67.82 while the WTI Crude is at $65.05.
The increment has had a toll cost of fuel, as petrol which used to sell at Gh¢ 4.30 per liters is now sold at Gh¢4.63 while diesel which used to sell at Gh¢ 4.30 per liters is now also sold at Gh¢4.60
Some energy tink thanks including Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana(COPEC-GHANA) and individuals like the Senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo has criticized the government for failing to stabilize the hikes in fuel prices.
But responding to these concerns in an interview with Oman FM, Mr Boakye Agyarko, stated that government is aware of the situation and would address it soon.
He explained that government is a bit cautious because any decision to reduce fuel prices at the moment will come with its consequences.
He said the government is looking at either removing the “ad valorem” tax on fuel and introduce the flat tax in order to make it affordable to Ghanaians.
“You can’t just get up and reduce it. You have to analyze the measures and understand the consequences of those measures,” he said.
He said the government is agreement with the consumers that the cost of fuel has to be reduced saying “we agree that something needs to be done about the fuel prices.”