Petrol should sell at Ghc8.52 – Ex-NPA boss

The price of crude oil dropped on the world market yesterday recording US$54.97.

Using the current exchange rate of GH¢3.22, it translates into 44 percent in cedi terms and 50 percent in dollar terms from June 2014 to date.

Thus, a gallon of petrol in Ghana should now be selling at GH¢8.52.

A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), John Attafuah, who disclosed this to BUSINESS GUIDE in a telephone interview yesterday in Accra, said using the prices of petroleum products on the NPA’s website between June and December 1, this year, particularly the world market price for crude as a proxy and multiplying that by the exchange rate, the price of the commodity should have gone down by about 31 percent as at last week.

“In dollar terms, it should have been down by 38 percent.

Government should have therefore sold a gallon of petrol at GH¢10.67 as at last week. All other products could be discounted using the same 31 percent drop in cedi terms.”

Asked why Government had decided to maintain the prices of petroleum products despite the continuous drop on the world market, Mr Attafuah said the whole automatic price adjustment formula was not covered by any covenant, adding that Ghanaians accepted it without asking Government how it would implement it.

Commenting on the huge fiscal deficit which had forced Government to take such a stance, the former NPA boss said, “We were all assured that the prices of petroleum products would be determined by the automatic adjustment formula but Government, along the line, has changed the rules, without considering the plight of the largely poor populace.”

When the NPP was in power, late Prof John Evans Atta Mills assured Ghanaians that he would drastically reduce the price of petrol but when he came to power, he did the direct opposite to the extent that his successor is doing the worst, he indicated.

Mr Attafuah said, “What will happen if prices begin to go up? Will Government now revert to the automatic price adjustment formula? It should not play tricks with the oil price. It should be candid because petrol can easily disappoint you.”

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), which assured Ghanaians in the early stages of the implementation of the formula that it would adhere to the principles has now gone underwater completely and refused to speak.

Source : Daily Guide