Amendments to ensure full implementation of deregulation policy undergoes maturity –

The impending changes to the petroleum pricing law which should affect the pricing formula for the fuel sold at the pumps is currently undergoing the 21-day maturity period in parliament.

Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah who disclosed this explained the amendments are necessary for the successful implementation of the petroleum pricing deregulation policy.

“The purpose of the policy is to allow for competitive pricing, removal of government interventions, and elimination of forex losses faced by importers” he told journalists in Accra Thursday.

The amended policy would ensure a fully deregulated market for all products with the exception of residual fuel and premix fuel, the Minister said.

Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah stated “to strengthen the NPA to ensure that this price deregulation policy is fully enforced, some proposed amendments to sections of NPA Act and Pricing Regulations LI 2186 has been laid before parliament”. It is currently going through the 21 days as required by law.

The ministry has recommended amendments to sections 2, 37, 47, and 81 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 Act 691.

The amendment to section 2(2) is to reflect the change in the role of the NPA under the liberalized price regime where petroleum service providers will set their own prices in accordance with the prescribed petroleum product pricing formula which will be collated by the NPA for monitoring and publication purposes.

In an unrelated development, the country risks a further worsening of the current power crisis following threats by Nigeria Gas to suspend supply to Ghana through the West African Gas Pipeline.

The company has indicated that it expects a debt of 181 million dollars for previous supplies to be settled before Friday October 16.

Power Minister has been in Nigeria the whole of Thursday to negotiate a way out of the imminent suspension of supply.

But the Energy Minister, Armah-kofi Buah told the media government is optimistic a resolution will be reached before the deadline.

He said government has set up a team led by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission involving the Energy and other sector ministries and Ghana Gas Company “to draw up a plan on how to deal with all these issues of indebtedness”.

He however says government has plans to ramp up gas production in Ghana so the country will no longer have to rely on its neighbor.

Ghana is expected to generate 3,000 megawatts from the Atuabo Gas enclave where about 500 million cubic feet of gas is yet be fully tapped.

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