There has been a growing call on government to reduce the prices of petroleum products to reflect the declining prices on the international market. While this demand may seem fair and reasonable it is highly unlikely that any reduction in the prices of petroleum products would benefit the ordinary Ghanaian for number of reasons.

fuel price
fuel

In Ghana, we do not have the culture of reducing prices of goods and services to reflect corresponding reduction in the cost of production. Business owners and traders would always find reasons to keep prices same as they were if when cost of production reduces. In the case of fuel prices, drivers of commercial vehicles for instance would not reduce fares just because prices of petroleum products have been reduced. They would prices of spare parts, bad roads and others for why fares could not be reduced. This means that the only people who would benefit, if fuel prices be reduced would be private car owners who may pay the reduced prices for fuel at the pump for fuel they buy.

It is also a fact that the country witnessed massive under-recovery in the petroleum sector earlier in the year and so it makes sense for government and oil trading companies to recoup some of the losses occurred earlier. This is important because at the end of the day, government would still have to pay the oil trading companies the debt occasioned by under-recovery experienced any way or face unpleasant consequences of fuel shortages and possibly collapse of some oil trading companies in the country. Raising money to pay the debt this debt now by maintaining the prices as they are now ?will (hopefully) allow the government to use the available revenues to undertaken other critical developmental projects such as roads, schools, health centers and the likes, which will benefit all Ghanaians in a more substantial way.

In Conclusion, whilst it understandable that times are hard for many Ghanaians and a reduction in for fuel prices may seem appropriate, we must understand that, one must not necessary chew their tongue because they are hungry and suffer the terrible consequences later. We must resist the temptation to pressurizing government into taking popular decision which may benefit as in the long run. If for anything at all, we must seek assurances from government that they would put revenues to be generated by maintaining the fuel as they as to productive projects which will benefit all Ghanaians.

By Robert Obenyah

Email:[email protected]

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