State-owned GOIL has suspended its membership of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) with immediate effect following accusations that its recent reduction in fuel prices was due to government’s influence.
The government had urged oil marketing companies (OMCs) to reduce prices of petroleum products in order to cushion the motoring public. This followed a sit-down strike by some driver unions. GOIL complied with this recommendation and reduced its prices to GHp15 per litre at the pumps, having recently reduced them by GHp14 per litre.
But the AOMC wrote to the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, asking the government to steer clear of price deregulation as being implemented by OMCs.
Reacting to the complaint by AOMC, GOIL in a statement issued in Accra on Wednesday said “GOIL wants to state categorically that at no point did the government ‘direct’ the company to reduce its fuel prices as being alleged and circulated.”
“GOIL is a listed company with a constituted Board of Directors and Management and takes decisions based on prudent commercial principles,” the statement signed by Managing Director, Kwame Osei-Prempeh, said.
It stressed that the recent reduction in prices was as a result of the consideration of the welfare of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“Profit is therefore not the company’s prime motive, we also take cognisance of our corporate social responsibility to Ghanaians.”
It said the motive was “to cushion Ghanaians in the difficult post-COVID period”.
It, therefore, challenged AOMC to provide proof of its allegations.
“The allegation that the government is interfering in the industry is unfounded and baseless. GOIL has the right as any other OMC to determine its prices.
“We at GOIL believe the association has shown gross disrespect to the company and treated it with contempt and public ridicule. GOIL has therefore decided to suspend its membership of the association immediately,” it said.
SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah