The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has reiterated that the Authority does not fix prices of petroleum products in the country.
He explained that the increase in petroleum product prices was determined by the forces of demand and supply.
Dr Abdul-Hamid, who stated this at a press conference at the Ministry of Information in Accra on Wednesday, noted that the Authority’s responsibility was to regulate petroleum product prices to ensure that suppliers and consumers get value for money.
He stated that the country was operating a deregulated regime that came into effect in 2015, such that, the prices of petroleum products are determined by the price of the product in the international market, the premiums and profits that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) impose on the products, as well as the value of the cedi.
“The misconception about fuel pricing is that people think the NPA determines the prices at which consumers pay, however, we want people to understand that the regulator’s job is to ensure consumers get value for money,” he stated.
On the integrity of product quality and quantity, he stated that the NPA’s Quality Assurance Department had put in place measures to ensure that all petroleum products supplied in the country meet the national standards and specifications on quality.
“People are concerned about the quality of fuel that they buy into their engines and machines and also, I have had people ask me whether the fuel is of the same quality across all the Oil Marketing Companies in the country.
“Let it be stated, it is the same fuel that is fed to Star Oil, Shell, Goil and so on. It is the same consignment fuel that is imported into the country, so there is nothing like any Oil Marketing Company having substandard fuel or that it has a quality that is higher or better. So that ought to be known,” he stressed.
According to Dr Abdul-Hamid, people frequently claimed that the fuel they buy at the pumps do not commensurate with the amount they paid for, to address this issue, the Authority in partnership with the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) has developed a ten-litre can at the station for verification purposes.
“Every citizen of Ghana is free to dispute if you are not satisfied that the fuel that you have been given does not commensurate with the fuel you paid for, you can invoke your right to verification and a ten-litre can would be used right in front of you to measure whether indeed you are getting the value for the money that you paid for,” he emphasized.
Dr Abdul-Hamid also disclosed that the Authority had started the process of reviewing the NPA Act, 2005 (Act 691) for it to meet the current demands and expectations of the petroleum downstream industry.
“The industry has outgrown its parent act and, in the era, where we are talking about transitioning into renewable energy and cleaner fuels, the act should be reviewed. We are confident that the by the end of this year, we should have repealed and replaced the Act,” he stressed.
He also stated that the review would correct certain limitations of the law to ensure the highest safety standards in the downstream petroleum sector.
Patience Anaadem, ISD
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