Member of Parliament for Bongo constituency, Edward Bawa

Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Edward Bawa, has suggested that Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) could purchase crude oil to feed the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) as part of measures to reduce fuel prices.

According to Mr. Bawa, several Bulk Distributing Companies (BDCs) have called on BOST to take up such an initiative, a measure he said is not new to Ghana.

Mr. Edward Bawa noted that TOR with a current capacity of 45,000 barrels per day, “has not been working for a long time.”

Speaking to Benjamin Akapko on JoyNews’ AM Show, he said: “Is it possible that BOST, as we speak, as the holder of strategic stock, can get up and say ‘instead of us buying refined products, let’s see if we can buy crude oil.’

“They have done that many times. We buy crude from Nigeria. We give it to TOR to process. TOR processes and gives it to us, so our existing stocks will give it to GOIL and try to see if we can force down the prices of the product in the country.”

He said this will reduce some of the challenges being faced by Ghanaians because, “we will have the refinery producing while we look at the long term, whether we should expand TOR or not. That is one area we can look at.”

Mr. Bawa noted that in the period where fuel prices have increased, E.S.L.A has been increased by 30 per cent. The Price Stabilization Recovery Levy was increased by 40 per cent while the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) was also increased by 164 per cent.

According to Mr. Edward Bawa, government should consider scrapping off some taxes to alleviate the plight of citizens.

He wants the Energy Sector levy of GH¢0.20, Special Petroleum Tax of GH¢0.46 and the Sanitation and Pollution levy of GH¢0.10 scrapped off.

“The Special Petroleum Tax is supposed to be used for budget support. So if you are making so much money at the upstream sector, it means that if you take this 46 pesewas, you are sorted. That alone gives you 76 pesewas. That is GH¢1.16 from your ex pump prices,” he added.

Mr. Bawa expressed optimism that government is thinking in that regard to intervene accordingly. “I think we need to do it now,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Agyapa Mercer, has assured of government’s commitment to implement measures that would cushion fuel consumers from the effects of increasing price hikes in recent times.