Hassan Tampuli, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority has described comments made by the Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi on petrol prices reduction as ignorant.
Mr. Tampuli said no one who has an understanding of how the petroleum sector works will call for government to immediately reduce the prices of fuel amid a price reduction on the world market.
Sammy Gyamfi in a statement had called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to as a matter of urgency reduce fuel prices at the pump.
The NDC stated that it had “taken notice of the continuous reduction of the price of Brent crude on the international market in the last two months. Specifically, we have noted how the price of Brent crude has declined by over 45 per cent, from an average price of USD63.60 per barrel in January 2020 to USD36 per barrel currently.”
According to the NDC: “The declining prices of crude oil on the international market, coupled with the artificial stability the Ghana cedi appears to be chalking, which is largely due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the injection of the recent USD3 billion Eurobond into the economy, should have led to a significant drop in the pump prices of fuel by now.”
In a response, Hassan Tampuli urged Gyamfi to take advise from two former bosses of the NPA who happen to be in the NDC.
Mr Tampuli explained that since July 2015, the central government lost the power to either increase or reduce fuel prices following the deregulation exercise that was signed onto by the previous NDC government.
Hence, he said calls by Sammy Gyamfi and others that the current government should immediately reduce fuel prices smack of people who do not understand petroleum issues.
He indicated that he would have been more surprised if these calls had come from persons including Mr Alex Mould and Moses Asaga, all former CEOs of the NPA and still members of the NDC party because they signed the deregulation document.
“I think that is a call that clearly sends the signal that our good friends from the other side have not really learned anything after they lost power.
“Because since 1st July 2015 when President John Mahama was president of the Republic, we have moved from the time when government would intervene in pricing of petroleum products to a time where the determination of prices of petroleum products is made by the oil marketing companies.
“The key indicators being the forex rates, the FOB prices, the international price and the taxes levied are the things that one has to use taking into account that the prices should be reduced.”
He added : “the next pricing window starts from the 16th of March so if anybody is asking government today, the 10th of March to change the prices of petroleum products immediately it tells you the person does not understand the issues. I think that if they want to speak about some of these issues they should go back to people who know what the industry is about from among their ranks.