Energy policy think tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has alleged the formation of a cartel by major Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country’s downstream petroleum industry.
According to the energy think tank, its assertions is supported by recent developments in the industry and further evidenced by some anti-competitive behaviour of the major OMCs.
Speaking to the media on the issue, Executive Secretary of ACEP, Ben Boakye, stated that the upward adjustment in fuel prices by the same price margins by the major OMCs on the back of the Ghs 0.47 pesewas increment by government and the NPA, is proof of the formation of a cartel.
He therefore called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to investigate the OMCs and apply the necessary sanctions.
“You can’t have a situation where OMCs come together and decide that when government is going to adjust prices they will come together and overnight adjust their prices with specific margins across board, that’s cartalisation,” he stated.
“With what we saw on the back of the Ghs 0.47 pesewas fuel price increment by the government and NPA, it was almost as if the major OMCs decided that this is our time, lets adjust the prices and what’s intriguing is that the top 5 OMCs were almost at the same level when the did the Ghs 0.47 pesewas adjustment. They all added Ghs 0.16 pesewas and they all went up to Ghs 6.13 pesewas, that’s not competition, that’s creating a cartel and the NPA has to take a look at it,” he added.
In a press release issued on May 5, 2021, ACEP in demanding for the repeal of the additional Ghs 0.17 pesewas charge on fuel prices by the NPA, also demanded that investigations be carried out into the coincidental adjustment of OMC margins in fuel prices following the implementation of the Energy Sector Recovery Levy of Ghs 0.20 pesewas and Sanitation and Pollution Levy of Ghs 0.10 pesewas per litre of petrol and diesel.
“NPA must investigate the coincidental adjustment of OMC margins and demonstrate to the good people of Ghana how it intends to prevent anticompetitive behaviour in the downstream sector,” said ACEP.
According to ACEP, 52 percent of the downstream market is controlled by five (5) OMCs out of the 116 functional OMCs in the country.