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Deregulation creates unhealthy competition among OMCs 

john mahama

Government’s decision to deregulate the petroleum sector last June has created an unhealthy competition among Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) as scores of operators in the sector are using unconventional marketing strategy to attract motorists.
Ghana News Agency investigations reveal that since June 16, when the deregulation started, scores of OMCs have adopted “knock-out,” marketing strategy to defame others whilst attempting to woo motorists, who have become akin to the price quotes.

GNA observed that some of the OMCs have typed-out their prices against their major competitors on pieces of paper, which they hand out to clients who patronize their products; advising clients that even though the price of their major competitors are lower; “the prices differential is small so stick to us”.

A source at the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) told the GNA that the unhealthy competition has led to the cancelation of the 2015 annual Petroleum Fun Games (PETFUN 2015).

Mr Emmauel Armah Kofi- Buah, the Minister of Petroleum, has explained that “Government’s decision to deregulate the petroleum sector has compelled oil importers and dealers to fix their own prices at cheaper rates, as buyers will want to buy from importers, whose prices are lower compared to others”.

The Petroleum Minister said the deregulation means that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) would no longer be in charge of determining the prices of petroleum products, but would only be in charge of ensuring that the products sold were up to standard.

The Deregulation Act was passed in 2005 and had made a lot of progress, such as allowing private oil players, Bulk Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies to come on board in the importation and sale of oil in the country, price liberalization, which was one of the core mandate of the Act had not been achieved, hence, Government’s decision to do it now, he said.

Meanwhile scores of motorists GNA spoke to has commended Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), the foremost indigenous downstream oil marketing company in the country, for serving as the “stabilizer,” since the inception of the deregulation regime.

“GOIL has consistently quoted lower prices of petroleum product per litre against the other major competitors, thereby setting petroleum pricing benchmark during every pricing regime,” Mr Dominic Owusu Amoako, a motorist told the GNA.

Meanwhile Mr Patrick Akpe Kwame Akorli, the GOIL Managing Director has explained to the GNA that, the company will continue to set pragmatic targets to dominate the downstream oil industry to ensure that Ghanaian oil marketing companies took control of the industry.

He said GOIL set up a GOENERGY Company Limited, which is a Bulk Oil Distribution Company (BDC) with the objective of ensuring availability and stability of fuel supply in the country.

Mr Akorli said: “We are focused on the vision to be a world-class provider of goods and services in the petroleum and other areas of the energy industry as our geographical spread places us first, in terms of the distribution of petroleum products whilst our networks enables GOIL products to reach virtually all parts of the country.

“GOIL remains one of the forerunners in the state-owned enterprises sector and the petroleum industry in general”.

Mr Akorli said GOIL was strictly enforcing a national policy of maintenance of high standards at the forecourt of its 204 stations across the country.

He noted that as part of the mandate to maintain standards they have rolled out administrative mechanism to improve companywide quality management system based on ISO 9001 requirement.

“Our quality policy statement shall be achieved by active involvement of our professionally qualified, highly-skilled, well trained and motivated staff.

“It is against this backdrop that GOIL has initiated safety and training programme in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service to enable our staff to deliver their duties safely”.

He said GOIL is equipping staffs across the country with technical knowledge to respond to incidents, safe discharge of products, and important use of safety gears, such as, safety boots, gloves, nose masks, goggles and the proper handling of fire extinguishers.

Mr Akorli, who is also known as Togbe Adza-Nye IV, Dutorfia of Ziavi in the Volta Region, said other measures include, the marketing of quality petroleum and other energy products and services in all its branches in an ethical, healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner.

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