The country, according to Bloomberg report a fortnight ago, might soon be in a gridlock, due to Ghana’s dwindling foreign reserve, which will affect it ability to import petroleum product.
The report says that’ Ghana faces a looming fuel shortage as the central bank rations dollars after oil prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The monthly fuel import bill for the West African nation jumped to $450 million in May, from $250 million in January, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The central bank is only offering about $100 million a month at its foreign exchange auctions, and licensed bulk distributors can no longer plug the shortfall in the black market, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter isn’t public”.
The double-digit inflation, has also led to the cost of virtually all other goods and services go up two folds. Even the cost of diesel, which is used in transporting PMS, has almost doubled in a matter of months.
The consuming public in the country is disturbed that the cost of petroleum has gone up more than four times, since January and adding scarcity to the mix, will only compound their problems.
Even more worrisome is the fact that an oil producing nation like Ghana, no matter how little the daily output, has no functioning refinery that she has to depend on importation to satisfy the daily energy needs of the people.
Citi newsroom report of June 19, quoted a Deputy Minister for Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, as saying the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) could be back online by the end of 2022.
The minister, according to the story, said TOR, has sought approval from the Ministry of Energy to engage the private sector players “to commence the revamping of TOR, and that approval went on 2nd May.”
This is not the first time, TOR, has been said to begin operation to serve the purpose for which it was built, but time and again, the proposals are only good as the paper they are written on.
By way of conjecture, if TOR was alive and operating optimally, maybe, there wouldn’t have been any need to bring in petroleum products from refineries in Europe and America.
The looming scarcity and incessant price increases of petroleum product, should serve as a wake-up call on the urgency of rebuilding TOR and making it efficient.