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BAWUMIA: DISTRIBUTION OF PREMIX FUEL TO GO DIGITAL, FOLLOWED BY FERTILISER

General News

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has announced that the government will soon digitise distribution of premix fuel in Ghana to enhance efficiency in delivering it to fishermen. This, he says, will also end the politicisation and other challenges associated with premix distribution.

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has announced that the government will soon digitise distribution of premix fuel in Ghana to enhance efficiency in delivering it to fishermen. This, he says, will also end the politicisation and other challenges associated with premix distribution.

Dr Bawumia said the digitisation policy will probably be extended to fertiliser in the coming year.

Speaking yesterday at the opening session of the third Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhipCon) in Accra, the Vice-President said introducing digital technologies in premix distribution will ensure that fisherfolk, for whom the product is subsidised, will be the people who actually get it.

Reasons to digitise

“We have to leverage increasingly on the digital technologies that are available to increase efficiency in the downstream petroleum sector,” Dr Bawumia said.

“One of the areas that we have been discussing and have taken a decision on is … the distribution of premix fuel in Ghana among the fishermen.”

He argued that the challenges in distributing premix fuel are largely the result of governments subsidising it. Whenever a product is subsidised, he said, its distribution creates the chance to exploit economic rents.

“And when it creates these rents, all sorts of people come in the middle. The fishermen, for whom this is designed, ultimately don’t even get the product because the products are smuggled and sold to other people, who may not even be fishermen, at higher prices,” he said.

“We’ve been looking at this issue and we’ve decided that the best way to deal with it is to digitise the process so that we can be able to direct the subsidy to each boat that is registered.
“We’ve registered all the boats and we will implement a digitisation process in the distribution of premix in Ghana soon, and we hope to extend it also to fertiliser in the next year as well. Digitisation will also end the politicisation of premix distribution,” he said.

Gas Act

The Vice-President told guests in the petroleum industry at the conference that the government will create an enabling environment for downstream business to thrive competitively, efficiently and with the highest safety standards.

“This government, through the Ministry of Energy, is in the process of ensuring institutional and regulatory realignment of the midstream gas subsector to bring clarity and a degree of certainty to players,” he said.

“The Minister of Energy will soon conclude the process of realignment and commence the process of legislative consolidation of the Gas Masterplan into a Gas Act. The proposed Gas Act will provide an enabling environment and appropriate incentives for investors,” he said.

This year’s conference, organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority, is under the theme “Regional Collaboration: a Catalyst for Transformation”. Leading stakeholders in the petroleum sector in the West African subregion are attending.

The other speakers on the opening day of the conference included Hassan Tampuli, chief executive of the National Petroleum Authority, and Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy.

The GhipCon conference aims to draw out perspectives and guidance from the petroleum industry on matters relating to government and regulatory policy. The conference will discuss specifically the implementation of deregulation in West Africa, with a particular focus on Ghana.

Discussions will centre on necessary policy and industry changes to smooth the way to deregulation and boost development of the petroleum sector in Ghana.