Chamber of Petroleum Consumers wants the Ghanaian government to protect citizens from possible US-Iran tensions escalation

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana-COPEC has called on the Ghanaian government to put in place measures to cushion the Ghanaian public against any possible oil price hikes due to the US-Iran tensions.

Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Duncan Amoah

Their call is coming despite the drop in oil prices on the international market.

The Convener of COPEC, Duncan Amoah told Accra-based Citi FM that the government could consider hedging as a strategy to protect Ghana in the future when the global oil market gets volatile.

Duncan Amoah explained that the government should prioritise hedging of oil prices to protect Ghanaians from any fuel price hikes at the pumps.

“Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, a rout that a lot of oil transporters can’t do without. Now if they decide to block the strait, expect oil prices to rise significantly. The government may, therefore, need to plan ahead and put in place a forecastable plan that says that things could degenerate in the gulf and we will mitigate it with so and so measure. If we don’t put in place any strategic plans, we may be in for some tricky and dangerous times.”

Oil prices went up and stock markets opened lower on Friday (January 3, 2020) after a US airstrike killed Iranian major-general Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds force.

On the day of the strike, Brent Crude went up by 3.8% to $68.87. Analysts said that a continuous increase in oil prices would have pushed up prices for consumers at the pumps and increase costs for businesses.

However, a week after the killing Iranian major-general Qassem Soleimani, oil prices have gone down to around US$ 65.48 a barrel. This was after US President, Donald Trump said tensions with Iran are easing, reducing fears of a deeper conflict between the two nations.

But Duncan Amoah says the government should not take chances. He said it is important that the interest of Ghanaian businesses and the general public is protected.

“The implication and impact of a possible hike in oil prices on businesses, trotro drivers and other Ghanaians cannot be overlooked, and it’s not something that the government itself can afford. So, the government will need to plan ahead, gauge what is happening in the Middle-East and put in measures that can mitigate whatever the outcome maybe.”

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