Ghana’s deregulation policy in the downstream petroleum industry seems to be hanging in the balance.

This is the argument by some experts who make the case that the recent directive by government to one of the country’s leading oil marketing company, Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), to reduce fuel prices by 15 pesewas per liter to meet demands by commercial drivers raises questions on whether the deregulation policy has outlived its relevance.   

Petroleum Expert and Energy Strategist, Dr. Yusif Sulemana told Joy Business the policy has not been able to stand the test of time.

“Deregulation is struggling. And it’s on a shaky ground because the policy is not able to stand its authority when the market needs it most.”

“This is the time that we thought deregulation should be able to work in both directions, that is when prices are going up and when prices are coming down. We are struggling because deregulation is paralysed, Dr. Sulemana said.

He explained further that “deregulation is paralysed because of taxes. So until we review the tax regime, we are not going to be able to see the impact or the benefits of deregulation. We need to look at these loopholes and plug them.”

In June 2015, the government of Ghana implemented the deregulation policy in the petroleum downstream sector with the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) determining prices rather than the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

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