The government, between 2017 and May 2019, spent GH¢373.9 million as premix fuel subsidy to cushion fishermen across the country, the Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, has disclosed.
He explained that GH¢137.5 million was spent in 2017, while GH¢160.8 million was spent in 2018, adding that the amount was projected to rise to about GH¢206 million by the end of 2019.
Mr Amewu disclosed this during a ceremony to inaugurate a prototype premix fuel retail outlet in Winneba in the Effutu municipality in the Central Region yesterday.
The minister said premix fuel distribution had been a challenging exercise because of the subsidies on the product, for which reason its distribution tended to create middlemen who came in between the distributor and the fishermen.
“The fishermen who are the ultimate beneficiaries do not even get the product because it is smuggled to non-fishermen,” he indicated.
He further asserted that other people who were “crooks in the industry tend to hoard the product and sell it later at exorbitant prices to the fisher folks or use it to adulterate gasoline as a result of the significant price differentials between these products due to the subsidies”.
He, however, said the government had been able to discourage particularly the diversion incidence by introducing stringent measures with the distribution process.
Mr Amewu intimated that those measures had impacted the efficient and equitable distribution of premix fuel to fisher folks and managed to reverse the perennial challenge of shortages and said the ministry would continue to give policy directions to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to ensure that protection was given to the businesses of genuine players in the industry.
Also, the ministry would work closely with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the National Premix Secretariat to expose the fraudulent people desperately trying to undermine the decency of premix fuel distribution and consumption.
Premix retail outlets