Government’s intention to introduce automated fuel dispensing units at landing beaches across the country in the coming months will affect the price of a subsidized litre of premix fuel from the current GH¢7.20pesewas to GH¢10, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Mavis Hawa Koomson has said.
“Plans are far advanced to roll-out the pre-mix fuel automated dispensing units at all landing beaches to make the product available to fishers at all times. When this happens, the sector may see a slight increase to GH¢10 – albeit subsidised – from the current price of GH¢7.20pesewas,” she told the B&FT at a recent fisheries stakeholder event.
Ms. Koomson however said the intended increase to GH¢10 per litre price of the commodity is still way better than the current GH¢26 per litre in the open market. “Based on the price of premix on the open market, I am confident that the planned minimal rise in the current price will be embraced by sector players when implementation of the automated system begins,” she expected.
The intervention by the ministry to roll-out the dispensing units has offered respite to fishers who have constantly complained about the product’s artificial shortage.
Indeed, government’s motivation behind automation and distribution of the product to all landing beaches is to eliminate middlemen who are alleged to have been hijacking distribution of the highly subsidised product.
This action, according to MoFAD, has led to the loss of millions in monies diverted into individual pockets to the detriment of the state.
Though the National Premix Committee’s mandate is to oversee the efficient and effective administration and distribution of premix fuel to avoid diversion, some fishers alleged that the challenge is still prevalent.
Between 2014 and 2019, available data showed that government had reportedly spent over GH¢1.2billion as subsidy on premix fuel to alleviate the plight of fishermen across the country.