Gas importers in showdown with gov’t

By Bismark Bebli

The recent price hikes in petroleum products appears to be creating more problems for the government. Information reaching The Chronicle indicates that suppliers of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are contemplating halting the importation of the product, due to poor margins.

In the recent price adjustment, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) added the dealers’ margin of 4%, but the gas dealers appear not to be happy, and, therefore, are threatening to halt the supply of the product.

The importers are of the view that the price margins were not only a disincentive to them, but also affected their operations in a number of ways, taking into account what they do, in terms of averting environmental degradation.

To this end, they contended that the shortage that hit the nation during the Christmas and the New Year festivities would recur if the government fails to re-think the price of their imported products into the country.

“We shall not sit down to be cheated anytime there is fuel price adjustment. We think that we have been cheated for far too long, and government must review its stand on the LPG prices, or else, we would not supply the products,” said an angry importer.

Mr. Kweku Darko, an importer, told this paper, on behalf of his colleagues, that judging from what was happening the nation would experience more shortages of the product. Already, prices of the product have shot up, and any shortfall could worsen the situation.

A small cylinder of the LPG, which cost GH¢12, is now being sold at GH¢15, while that of the bigger size has moved from GH¢16 to GH¢200.

To Kweku Darko, it looks like the government would only want to get more revenue from the petroleum prices to develop, but has failed to look at what went into the operations of LPG in the country.

“We have all seen the price of petroleum. We have taken a decision to back down from supplying the products in a couple of days to come. I can tell you that within the shortest possible time, there would be danger in Ghana. Simply put, there would be a shortage of gas, and so the earlier the government sits up and corrects the anomalies, the better.”

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