We’re not overpricing fuel products – Association of Oil Marketing Companies

The Association of Oil Marketing and Liquified Petroleum Gas Companies has refuted claims that its members are overpricing petroleum products and short-changing consumers as reported by some media outlets.

It opined in a statement that there is no way its members could overprice fuel at the pump even if they want to, due to the market structure of Ghana’s oil sector.

“Typically, overpricing pertains to regulated markets, so for people to perceive overpricing in a deregulated market is ironic. Though Ghana’s petroleum industry is deregulated, there is a formula (Petroleum Price Build-up) that serves as a guide for all Oil and LPG Marketing Companies in determining their ex-pump prices.”

It further stressed and elaborated that it isn’t true its members were using forex as an excuse for the act which is an illegality under Ghana’s oil laws.

“Among the guide [Petroleum Price Build-up] is the determination of the forex (the relationship between the Cedi and the Dollar). It is common knowledge that the Bank of Ghana is the proprietary of all forex transactions and rates, with complimentary efforts from the commercial banks and forex bureaus. Invariably, players in the downstream resort to the forex from the Bank of Ghana and not that of the regulator, as some acclaimed experts in the industry would like the general public to believe. This model has been in practice since the deregulation in 2015 and through the thick and thin times of the industry.”

One of the bodies accusing the oil marketing companies of upward price massages is the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC).

According to COPEC, per data available to it for the first pricing window of the month of January, petrol should retail at GH¢10.59 per litre and diesel at GH¢12.84 a litre but the OMCs increased their prices to GH¢12.40 for petrol and GH¢14.60 for diesel.

The Association denied the allegations and said it is “very disheartening and a setback, that some pseudo and self-acclaimed experts who have been through this journey in the industry continue to malign the OMCS/LPGMCS or use this process as a subterfuge to misinform the public and turn them against the well-meaning OMCS/LPGMCs, who are handling their business very well.”

“This attitude of antagonizing the OMCS/LPGMCs in this 21st century is not only primitive but also non-supportive of the toils that the OMCS/LPGMCs bear in this economy. Trying to incite the general public against genuine business people is very counter-productive and tantamount to killing the industry, especially without facts,” the statement stressed.

It also assured Ghanaians “as we have been contributing our quota to the development of the nation for the better part of our years of independence. OMCS/LPGMCs have not and will not exploit the masses in any way detrimental to the Ghanaian economy.”