The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Mahama says he will ensure that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and the Bulk Oil and Transport Company Limited (BOST) is run by a single Chief Executive Officer when voted back to power.
Mr. Mahama was responding to a question on the toll of high fuel prices during an interaction with the public on Facebook.
The former President attributed Ghana’s struggles with petroleum pricing to “a lot of inefficiency in the distribution chain of petroleum products.”
To address this, Mr. Mahama said he will return to the NDC government’s strategy of having one person manage BOST and TOR.
“Because of the improved efficiency between the two of them [BOST and TOR] in handling petroleum products, we were able to keep petroleum products at a much lower price than they would have been if we had left it the way it was. And so when I come as president again, I am going to appoint one chief executive to be in charge of both BOST and TOR and we will rebuild BOST’s capacity as a state-owned enterprise,” he promised.
Mr. Mahama also said the NDC plans to once again turn around the fortunes of BOST and return it to its glory days.
“We took BOST from the worst-performing state-owned enterprise and by the time we left office, BOST was the best-performing state-owned enterprise.”
“We will rebuild BOST again to claim its glory and we will let it work together with the Tema Oil Refinery so that we can ensure that efficiency of distribution in the system will bring down prices and inure to the benefit our people.”
Aside from these concerns from Mr. Mahama, the price of fuel has also been attributed to so-called nuisance taxes. One of the taxes cited for criticism was been the initial 17.5% Special Petroleum Tax placed on petroleum products by the erstwhile Mahama administration in 2015.
Though the current government had criticised its introduction when it was in opposition, it only reviewed it downwards by 2.5 percent in the 2017 budget.
Fuel prices across most of the major Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have seen an increase of almost 1 percent since December 6.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers noted that average pump prices that hitherto was at 5.360/ litre for both petrol and diesel have seen an increase of 5 pesewas to current new prices of 5.410/ litre or 24.345/ gallon for both petrol and diesel.
The recent fast depreciation of the cedi was noted as the cause for the most recent increase.
“The depreciation of the cedi if left unchecked will certainly see prices going up again and even higher in the second window of this month,” the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers noted in a statement earlier this month.