The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) and the LPG Marketers Association of Ghana say Ghanaians are still paying for the Cylinder Recirculation Recovery Margin despite its withdrawal.
The levy on Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) which was introduced by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) days ago was expected to allow LPG operators charge 13.5 pesewas extra for each kilogram of gas purchased.
After several complaints from stakeholders, the Energy Minister, Peter Amewu at a press briefing on Thursday, April 16, disclosed that the levy had been withdrawn.
“That slight increase in price that you saw in the papers, it has been withdrawn. The recirculation module, I think as you are all aware was a very noble thing introduced by the government. That amount you saw was supposed to level up the prices. It has been withdrawn,” the Minister said.
But reports indicate that despite this order directed at the NPA days before the announcement by the Minister, there has been no change in the price of LPG, as Ghanaians are still paying the levy at the pumps.
The Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, told Umaru Sanda Amadu in an interview on Eyewitness News that, “We were quite happy to hear the Minister say it has been withdrawn. Unfortunately, every Ghanaian that is buying LPG is still paying that illegal levy that according to the Minister should have been withdrawn about a week ago but hasn’t been withdrawn as we speak so Ghanaians are still paying.”
The Vice-Chairman of the LPG Marketers Association of Ghana, Gabriel Kumi, who corroborated Duncan Amoah’s claims noted that the levy was even included in their most recent window price build-up.
“That is the case because we haven’t had any directive from NPA to stop charging the levies not up until the time when the Minister announced that the levy has been scrapped. We didn’t know. Because on Wednesday, we had the second window price build-up which is normally sent to us by our regulator and that levy was still on it. So after the Minister said it’s been scrapped, we drew his attention that the levy is still on the price build-up. And he made us understand that he was getting back to the office and was going to make NPA check it,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Mr. Kumi further asked that the authorities involved “do the needful” by giving them access to official statements about the withdrawal of the levy.
“We will also appeal to them that they should do the needful. They should communicate officially to us so that tomorrow morning we can seize charging those levies.”
However, the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah, responding to these claims by the LPG operators and COPEC said they had not been notified because the directive was still going through the right processes to be implemented.
He said, “If it has not been implemented as we speak, you may want to avert your mind to the fact that there are usually implementation modules that need to be understood and clearly communicated so I’m sure the NPA is going through those processes but what I can say for a fact is the Minister said the withdrawal order has been given and it will pass through.”
NPA sued over levy
COPEC and the Consumer Protection Agency had sued the National Petroleum Authority over the introduction of the Cylinder Recirculation Recovery Margin after several calls to have it scrapped.
The two companies in their writ of summons argued among others that the NPA failed to consult with various stakeholders before introducing the policy.
“Plaintiffs state that the failure of the 1st defendant to consult with the service providers before the introduction of the new petroleum pricing formula has led to agitations among such service providers, particularly, the LPG Marketing Companies Association of Ghana (LPGMCs) who have issued a statement calling on the 1st defendant to withdraw the CRM.”