Government says it cannot immediatelyÂ reduce the prices of petroleumÂ products in the country despite a dropÂ in the price of crude oil on the worldÂ market.
Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MinisterÂ of Energy and Petroleum, whoÂ made this known, last Friday in Accra,Â said the fall in the price of crude oil on
the world market was still in a transitionalÂ trend.
In view of this, he said governmentÂ will not make any decision withÂ regard to the reduction of the price ofÂ oil until it had studied the trend fully.
Speaking at the launch of theÂ Petroleum Commission and NationalÂ Insurance Commissionâ€™s Protocol onÂ the placement of upstream insuranceÂ in the country, he said, â€œThe reductionÂ in the price of oil and the appreciationÂ of the cedi are transitional trends,Â which we cannot just rely on to makeÂ decisions.â€
Crude oil prices on the world marketÂ have declined from an average ofÂ $109 per barrel in January, this year toÂ $81.14.
Touching on the need to promoteÂ the participation of Ghanaians in theÂ energy sector, he disclosed that theÂ ministry was working out ways toÂ ensure that many Ghanaian companiesÂ make significant entry into the powerÂ subsector.
According to the Minister, thereÂ was the need for Ghanaian insuranceÂ companies to become competitiveÂ â€œand challenge themselves to maximizeÂ in-country premium retention.â€
He stressed the need to promoteÂ made-in-Ghana goods and services inÂ the countryâ€™s petroleum sector toÂ reduce capital flight.
The Minister reiterated governmentâ€™sÂ commitment to providing anÂ enabling environment for businesses,Â stressing that â€œbut local serviceÂ providers must take their chances.â€
Ghana Losing Money
An official of Ghana Oil and GasÂ Service Insurance Pool (GOGIP), in aÂ revealed that the countryÂ was losing huge sums of monies dueÂ to capital flight in the petroleum sector.
According to him, GOGIP generatedÂ about $61 million through premiumÂ covers from 2009 to 2013.
Sadly out of this colossal amount,Â only $ 1million came to GOGIP withÂ the rest going to foreign insuranceÂ companies in the form of reinsurance,Â he said.
BY Cephas LarbiÂ & Melvin Tarlue