File photo A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Carson

Oil is more than gold as the most important commodity in the world.

It’s the engine of modern economies and industries. Its underlying role in our affairs is too costly to overlook.

We all remember the infamous ‘dumsor’ and the misery and darkness our country endured because of the energy crisis. Also, the extreme hardship we are facing now because of the high prices of goods due to the high price of Oil.

This emphasises the all importance of oil to our lives. And when are we going to learn that without oil, our economy will grind to a halt? The nation is facing a major energy and economic crisis due to high oil prices.
Is there something government can do to bring stability to petrol prices?

This is what some governments are doing to respond to the situation.

  1. As a result of the war in Ukraine, the US government for the first time has ordered the release of 1 million barrels per day of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for 6 months. This makes it the largest release in the history of the SPR- 180 million barrels of oil. This measure is to help stabilize the price of oil and control inflation.
    Unlike the US, the government of Ghana has only 3 weeks of Strategic Petroleum stock which is too limited to make any impact.
  2. Some governments are removing the petrol tax to help reduce the burden on their citizens.
    But the Ghanaian government is unwilling to miss GHC4 billion in revenue if petroleum taxes are removed.

My opinion is that the government of Ghana has no actual emergency response plan to the high petrol prices.

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Author B.A. Mensah, An Energy Expert and Member of IES ( Institute for Energy Security).