Government Officials Must Thread Cautiously


Government has announced plans through a newspaper publication that it was going to start hedging of crude oil; the information on the start of the hedging and what benefit will accrue to the country is still sketchy.

What hedging seeks to do is to avoid future escalation of prices on commodities like petroleum products, simply put, it also seen as gambling.

Hedging essentially becomes handy for prediction over a stipulated period leading to price stability, so people think it is a good idea considering that fuel prices on the world market has been pretty stable for a while.

It has also become necessary because Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is in debt and not refining, thereby, allowing some businessmen to make abnormal profit.

The Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) who have always find something wrong with everything the Government intends doing, has also come out to state that they wish the Government would not ahead with the hedging.

But the Ministry of Energy, under whose jurisdiction the energy policy of this country falls, has been silent on the issue. What the Senchi Consensus, sought to do was to bring the best brains this country can boast of, to fashion out a road map going into the future, it was bi-partisan and was meant to enrich the economic debate. It is expected that after the Senchi Consensus, anything the Government does, the public will be well informed and involved.

The Minority is justified in seeking to play the public against the Government, when all the Ministry of Energy was expected to do is to bring the public up to speed on the benefit of hedging.

Government appointees easily forget the past, former head of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tsatsu Tsikata, was vilified and his competence questioned when the New Patriotic Party (NPP), came into office in 2000, his crime was because he entered the GNPC into a hedging agreement, what happened is available for any smart person, who do not want the past repeated.

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