Energy Consultant and former Member of Parliament for Damango, Mutawakilu Adam is predicting a shortage of petroleum products in the country if the government does not take immediate steps to bring the rate of cedi depreciation under control.
As part of measures to avert the situation, the former ranking member on the Energy Committee in Parliament advised the government to take off some taxes on petroleum products such as the Special Petroleum Tax.
According to him, the Special Petroleum Tax has outlived its usefulness on the Ghanaian people in terms of the purpose it was introduced.
“The government needs to prioritize how it handles foreign exchange issues. I know the cocoa syndicated loans may come but how long will it take and what are the expectations for future foreign currencies? Apart from the cocoa syndicated loans, the next one is the IMF coming in to help. How long will it take us to have an agreement? That is very unclear.
“So the government must take pragmatic measures to ensure that there is foreign currency available to the BDCs to be able to import finished products into the country. If not, we will have a serious challenge with the availability of petroleum products,” Mr. Mutawakilu stated on Starr Today with Joshua Kodjo Mensah, Tuesday October 1, 2022.
He continued: “But what is causing the increase in fuel prices is the rate of the depreciation of the cedi. It is what is contributing significantly to the increases in prices of petroleum products in the country. Not the international prices.”
According to him, the international crude price is now above the benchmark that was captured by the Finance Minister in the 2022 Budget.
“So there is definitely a windfall for our export of crude. As President Mahama indicated within the first quarter we rake in almost 732 million dollars. In Ghana cedi is about 8.7 billion Ghana cedis which is more than we expected for the whole year. So that indicates we have enough windfall from our crude exports.
“The government must move in to make sure that it is using this money to cushion Ghanaians. Because the way the price is moving is quite alarming which is not the fault of the ordinary Ghanaian. No, it is the fault of the managers of the economy, so the government must cushion Ghanaians with respect to the fuel prices,” the former lawmaker indicated.