The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has touted the implementation of the Gold For Oil (G4O) saying it has slightly lowered prices of petroleum products and reduced forex risk.
Tracing the situation before the implementation of the G4O programme, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said average monthly petroleum product import bill ranged from US$350 million to US$400 million.
He said the petroleum downstream dollar demand accounted for 20 percent of national demand.
The NPA Boss noted that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) commenced a special exchange rate auction programme for the petroleum downstream in April 2022, and indicated that the special auction programme could not meet 100 percent of forex demand in the country.
“Inadequacy of BoG supply pushes BIDECs to speculate forex rates arbitrarily based on proposed rates from commercial banks”, he said and explained that the gold payment was mooted as a solution to the pressure that petroleum downstream put on the cedi.
Speaking at the meet-the-press in Accra on Wednesday, the NPA Boss said the country had received three cargoes so far, comprising 41,000 metric tonnes (MT) of diesel in January, and another 40,000MT of diesel and 35,000MT of petrol which has just arrived and being discharged.
He said the NPA in consultation with the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) has come up with criteria for the distribution of the next consignment of petroleum products imported under the G4O programme.
According to him, this is to ensure that the impact of the G4O programme is felt by consumers across the country.
He said this while addressing the concerns of the AOMCs about a lack of clarity regarding the allocation of products supplied under the programme.
The criteria take into consideration the top 25 OMCs that distributed petrol and diesel in 2022 with not less than 45 retail outlets across the country.
He stressed that “better results are expected as more G4O cargoes arrive.”
The meet-the-press under the auspices of the Ministry of Information that featured the NPA, focused on developments in the downstream petroleum industry on the theme: “Petroleum Downstream: Retrospect and Prospect.”
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the NPA regulates G40 product prices in the interim (Ex-ref price and Ex-pump prices).
He stated that the Authority had intensified price monitoring activities with penalties for defaulting service providers.
Touching on activities undertaken to ensure product quality and integrity, the NPA Boss mentioned the supply of low sulphur fuels (cleaner fuels), a maximum of 50ppm for imports and a maximum of 1500ppm for domestic production.
The NPA also undertakes periodic petroleum product monitoring exercises, conducts fuel marker monitoring and quality monitoring of fuel standards (Quality Control) including checking of water in fuel and collaborates with security agencies to prevent illegal imports, exports and product dumping.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the Authority used technology (Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), National Fuel Monitoring System (NFMS) and the Automatic Tank Gauge system) to ensure the intended delivery of petroleum products along the petroleum downstream value chain.
He mentioned the revocation of licenses and publication of the names of defaulting Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) and Laycans allocation and monitoring to ensure adequate supply as some of the activities undertaken to ensure order in the downstream petroleum industry.