The Deregulation Of Ghana´s Downstream Petroleum Sector: Expedient Or Needless?
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has officially announced that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) would announce their ex-pump prices for petroleum products effective 16th June, 2015. This is the first step towards the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector of Ghana by the NPA. Moses Asaga, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA however gave the assurance of monitoring the application of the Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula. And that the defaulters in the provision of Petroleum Services would be sanctioned accordingly.
Also, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has demonstrated its unwavering support for this deregulation policy because it sees it as economically expedient. Dr. Robert Osei, a research fellow in the economics department of ISSER claimed that the deregulation would save government from the burden of subsidising petroleum products in this time of the state´s financial constraints. He added that it would allow for cost recovery in the downstream petroleum sector among the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs).
Moreover, there are some sections of the public who strongly object to the NPA´s implementation of the deregulation policy. We can say that their views are either purely socialist or politically motivated, but they do make a lot of economic sense. In fact, they mean to say that it is needless; making a strong contrast with those who think it is expedient. And we all know that capitalism teaches that market forces ought to determine commodity prices while socialism calls for government interference in market affairs. But a good mix of capitalist and socialist principles in the deregulation process would be the best for our petroleum sector now!
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."