Monday, June 30, 2014

Mahama Knew There Would Be Fuel Shortage But…


THE NEW Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Talensi and Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Mines, Robert N.D. Mosore, has urged Ghanaians to brace themselves up for more fuel shortages as a result of lack of concrete policy direction on energy by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to the Deputy Ranking Member, since the NDC had failed to take advantage of the downstream petroleum processes resulting from exploration of Ghana’s oil, and rather chosen to rely heavily on the importation of finished products through the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) in smaller quantities, fuel shortages would continue to live with Ghanaians.
“After Ghana had found oil in commercial quantities, the NPP government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to build an additional refinery at TOR with capacity of 150,000 barrels per stream day which was meant to cater for the domestic needs of the country and export to the West African market,” he recalled, stressing that when the NDC won power in 2008 it completely abandoned that good initiative.
The MP, who was speaking exclusively with DAILY GUIDE in Parliament on the current fuel shortage facing the nation, said the NDC government, upon assuming power, shelved that pragmatic move and adopted a different government policy which result Ghanaians are seeing today.
“If the government had decided to refine Ghana’s crude oil, we could have gotten gasoline, gas oil, kerosene, dirty oil as well as bottom products which could be used to manufacture fertilizer and bitumen,” he said, pointing out that government’s approach to the energy sector was a total misplacement of priorities and policy direction of petroleum and energy issues.
He said the only solution to the constant fuel shortages was for the government to support TOR to revamp its processing plants so as to start producing at its maximum capacity.
Talking about subsidies on petroleum products, Mr. Mosore said categorically that there is no government subsidy on petroleum products such as petrol, gas oil and liquified petroleum gas, except pre-mix fuel; and challenged the government to publish petroleum products which are subsidized for the public to know.
The issue of severe shortage of fuel was raised in Parliament yesterday by the NPP MP for Asene/Akroso/Manso, Yaw Owusu-Boateng, who rose on a ‘point of order’ told the Speaker that the fuel shortage in the country had brought more hardships to the people and as their representatives, the Speaker must allow them (MPs) talk about it.
The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, said the issue raised by the MP was a very important one but he (MP) was not using the right channel to raise the issue on the floor for proper debate.
“Hon Member, this issue has not been raised in a statement by any Member for me to decline,” Doe Adjaho said, adding that Owusu- Boateng’s intervention on the fuel situation was not consistent with the rules of the House and that the rules must be followed.
BY Thomas Fosu Jnr

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