Pru East Member of Parliament, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has said the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL Ghana) got it wrong following the decision to suspend its membership of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs).
He believes that GOIL should have the ability to accept criticisms when they go wrong.
On Thursday December 9, GOIL announced the suspension of its membership of AOMCs with immediate effect following accusations that government influenced its recent reduction in fuel prices.
The government had urged oil marketing companies (OMCs) to reduce prices of petroleum products in order to cushion the motoring public. This had followed a sit-down strike by some driver unions.
GOIL complied with this recommendation and reduced its prices to GHp15 per litre at the pumps, having recently reduced them by GHp14 per litre.
But the AOMC wrote to the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, asking government to steer clear of price deregulation as being implemented by OMCs.
This appears not to have gone down well with GOIL as captured in a statement dated Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
“GOIL wants to state categorically that at no point did the government ‘direct’ the company to reduce its fuel prices as being alleged and circulated.
“GOIL is a listed company with a constituted Board of Directors and Management and takes decisions based on prudent commercial principles,” the statement signed by Managing Director Kwame Osei-Prempeh said.
It stressed that the recent reduction in prices was as a result of the consideration of the welfare of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“Profit is therefore not the company’s prime motive, we also take cognisance of our corporate social responsibility to Ghanaians.”
It sad the motive was “to cushion Ghanaians in the difficult post-Covid period”.
It therefore challenged AOMC to provide proof of its allegations.
“The allegation that government is interfering in the industry is unfounded and baseless. GOIL has the right as any other OMC to determine its prices.
“We at GOIL believe the association has shown gross disrespect to the company and treated it with contempt and public ridicule. GOIL has therefore decided to suspend its membership of the association immediately.”
Reacting to this development in an interview with TV3, Dr Kwabena Donkor who is a former Minister of Power said this is a wrong move.
He said “I believe it is a wrong move by GOIL. We have over 120 oil marketing companies. Yes, GOIL is the market leader and GOIL should be more sensitive. If it can’t accept criticism then it is a dangerous thing.
“I sincerely think GOIL has handled very wrong. GOIL should be commercially proactive. When there is the need to adjust pricing you take a commercial decision. October 2021 GOIL accounted for 17 per cent of the national lifting of Gasoline which we call Petrol therefore what they do also have an effect on the market.
“Are they squeezing margin to squeeze others out? If it is a marketing strategy, fine however, are they doing that to please political masters? If that is the decision then they are being unfair to shareholders and they are destroying the Ghana Stock Exchange.”