Ever since the petroleum sector of the economy was deregulated under the John Agyekum Kufuor Presidency, the Government of Ghana ceased importing crude oil for the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) or refined petroleum products for distribution. What that meant was that, the Bulk Oil Distributing Companies (BOST) assumed direct importation of refined petroleum products for distribution to the pumps for the consuming public.
When the consignment gets to the Port, the Government of Ghana through its revenue agents, apply all required import duties and all relevant taxes before clearing is authorized. What that means I believe is that, if the importer’s Freight On Board (FOB) price per gallon is for example, GHs13.50, the Government Taxes of say Ghs11 will be added plus a reasonable profit margin of say GHs1 per gallon to the retail pump outlets, making the Pump sale price of GHs25.50 per gallon. Any time new prices are announced, the Government of Ghana refuses to admit any knowledge of how the prices came about claiming it has no hands in the determination of prices on petroleum products. That is obviously, lying and deceiving the people of Ghana, shifting the burden of proof on (BOST). Governments have even claimed subsidizing prices of petroleum products all the times. Another blatant lies and deceptions. Fuel prices will never come public without the knowledge of the Government.
Evidently, prices of goods and services are dictated base on many factors including mainly, fuel prices at the pump. Call it Filling Stations. Petroleum prices have been a Political football game for decades, and this will have to end at some point to stop the frequent fluctuations of commodity prices for consumers. No opposition Party has ever won any election and brought fuel prices down, even though, they always use fuel prices as a campaign weapon against the incumbent. The political game on fuel pricing in Ghana dates back before the (KU ME PREKO DEMONSTRATION). The story has never changed, between NPP and NDC. The truth of the matter is that, they all come into Government to enjoy free Petrol and other fuels which conservatively, I have estimated to cost the Tax payer about US$100 Bn annually. (if anybody thinks this is an over exaggerated figure, the person is welcome with the correct and authentic figures.) The fact remains however, that all those in Government enjoy free petrol at the expense of the tax payer. Taxes are meant for National Development but not to service the kind of lifestyles those in Government would want to enjoy.
The Tema Oil Refinery has been insolvent and unproductive for several years because of the colonial exploitative system of everything free to Government officials. Without doubt, an irresponsible management of the National economy, not thinking of how much it adversely affects the overall National development. Nobody should be surprised if we wake up in the morning to hear a (breaking news) of the sale of our oil refinery. My Gosh, what kind of humans are we, that cannot manage anything that belongs to us? Does it worry us at all, when Africa is referred to as with apologies, “SHIT HOLE”? Or we don’t care because of our level of selfishness and greed?
GHANAIANS MUST WAKE UP AND BE COUNTED. WE MUST END OUR STATE OF HOPELESSNESS.
By Ofori Ampofo.