BOST MD calls for approval of 3% margin

BOST MD calls for approval of 3% margin

Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Distribution Company (BOST), Mr Edwin Provencal, has called for the approval to increase the BOST margin on petroleum products from 3 pesewas to at least some 12 pesewas.

He said it is time for the margin to be approved particularly with the huge plunge in oil prices over the coronavirus pandemic.

In December 2019, the NPA reversed its decision to increase the BOST margin which was expected to have been upped from GH¢0.03 to GH¢0.06 per litre and the UPPF component also increased by GH¢0.01 to GH¢0.22 per litter.

“As we speak today the prices at the pump are going down every day and so this is the right time to bring the margin because, then, the impact of the consuming public will be very low,” the MD told the media during an engagement with some energy sector Civil Society Organizations in Tema.

BOST’s margin, according to the MD, was purposely to carry out maintenance of its infrastructure, some of which are about 26 years old, with a lot of them broken down. “We have almost 4 tanks here, which are out of service and we need money to fix them.

“Now the BOST margin was solely meant for infrastructure maintenance. In 2011, the BOST margin was given to us at 3 pesewas. We are in 2020, some 9 years down the line where the dollar value has depreciated by 75%, but we are still getting the same 3 pesewas. That is why the infrastructure is falling apart,” he said.

Mr Provencal said though BOST was trying its best, it needed help, “hence the cry for help and for Ghanaians to support the increment of the BOST margin from 3 pesewas to at least some 12 pesewas if possible, so that we can deliver our mandate to the people of Ghana.”

He said the company would need about 150 million dollars to put its infrastructure into proper shape, “but I mean we are not asking all of that from the government. All we are asking from the government is that it should give us the BOST margin so we can be equipped to maintain the existing infrastructure.” BOST, however, has plans to upgrade and automate the whole depot to improve efficiency.

Meanwhile, CSOs including the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Ghana, and the Institute of Energy Security (IES), have all supported the call by the BOST MD for the margin to be increased. They believe that should the margin be increased, the company can work to ensure stability in fuel prices in the country in this pandemic era.

Executive Director of COPEC Duncan Amoah stated. “The only assurance we need is that whatever additional resource that government would have to pump in, whatever resources Ghanaians would add together to give to BOST, we would need that assurance that 6 months or 1 year from now, if we were to come back here to do this field trip or visit, the story here would be different.”

Energy expert Kojo Poku, who had opposed the introduction of the margin last year, has also said the BOST margin should be approved. “Some of us kicked against it when it was introduced in December. Two weeks before Christmas the BOST margin was introduced and we felt that it was insensitive at that time. Going forward, we cannot sit back and say that because it was suspended in December it shouldn’t ever come back,” he said.

Moreover, Executive Director of the Institute of Energy Security (IES), Paa Kwasi Anamua-Sakyi, also advised that should the margin be approved, it ought to be used for the purposes for which it was introduced, and also suggested to government to divert the prize stabilization levy to BOST.

Source: Energy Ghana

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