The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) hints at some significant reduction in fuel prices by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) from next week.

It is, however, rejecting calls for the regulator – NPA or government to step in to force a reduction in prices at the pumps, following delays by the players to adjust in line with market developments.

The Chief Executive of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli says consumers should appreciate that due to the deregulation policy, adjusting prices is strictly in the hands of the oil marketers.

Mr Tampuli said “When we have observed the price movement as we have from the 1st [March] up to date, there is a very clear indication that the prices will go down by the 16th of March so it is not up to …anybody else to determine for us what the price should be. The industry people themselves understand that the prices have to go down because there is a reduction of the price on the international market; government taxes have not increased, the cedi is way better than the dollar and we should get the benefit of that.”

He said, “…from what we have seen, the movement of the products, the prices and so on and so forth, we are likely to see something within the range of 15 per cent reduction, that is from our calculation, all things being equal.”

Oil prices on Monday recorded their biggest plunge since the first Gulf War in 1991, tumbling as traders bet that a clash between oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia could flood a world already hobbled by the coronavirus outbreak.

Brent crude has fallen by as much as $14.25, or 31.5%, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the lowest since February 12, 2016.

Following this global tumble in crude oil prices, Ghana’s Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) urged OMCs in the country reduce their ex-pump prices to reflect the sustained decline in the global crude oil prices.

According to COPEC, consumers should be benefitting from a reduction of between 10% and 32% in ex-pump prices, instead of the 2% reduction that consumers have been given over the past few weeks.

COPEC also indicated that the cedi’s relative stability compared to other trading currencies should warrant a drop in prices.

The opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also said in a statement that it was unfair for the government to look on as OMCs keep ex-pump prices high.