With the government’s policy to withdraw subsidies on petroleum prices and to allow companies dealing in petroleum products to determine prices, some smaller filling stations operating in the Wa Municipality have started folding up.
Smaller filling stations are registering poor patronage and it is feared that sooner than later many of them would be out of business.
A Ghana News Agency survey of petrol filling stations operating in the municipality revealed several smaller filling stations empty with no drivers and motorists buying fuel from them.
Many of them had not been able to reduce their prices to the level that the bigger companies are offering and there is a huge switch among users of petroleum products to companies with relatively low prices.
Some of the Managers of those stations said the withdrawal of the subsidies was affecting them, as many of them are unable to pay their workers and also cater for their family.
They said petroleum companies were now selling their products on “cash and carry” basis and with no cash they are unable to take delivery of the products.
However, bigger companies such as Excel, Total, Frimps and Goil filling stations, among others, are recording high patronage with varied level of prices being offered to customers.
For instance, at the Excel Filling Station, a gallon of Super is currently sold at GH¢15. 40, whilst the same quantity of Diesel is being sold at GH¢13.40.
At the Total Filling Station, Super is sold at GH¢15.50, per gallon and Diesel, GH¢13.50 per gallon.
Goil Company is selling Super at GH¢15.39 per gallon and Diesel, GH¢13.41 a gallon.
Mr. Akrofi Darko, Managers of Goil Filling Stations, said the petroleum business is now cost intensive and many of them are operating on marginal or no profits basis, and that, it is difficult to survive because of the “cash and carry” nature of the business now.
Mr, Stephen Owusu, Manager of the Frimps Oil Company, expressed fears that with the current policy, smaller companies dealing in petroleum products are likely to fold up because of the instability in the pricing of fuel products.
At the Wa Lorry Station, some drivers complained that the indiscriminate prices of petroleum products was causing confusion between them and filling station attendants, as well as some passengers, who feel that transport fares were still on the high side, upon hearing that prices of petroleum products had reduced.
Some of the drivers said the availability of the product on daily basis was their concern and not the prices as it is now.
Others said they just buy from any fuel station regardless of the differences in prices.
“Our fear is that the day Ghana would experience shortage of the petroleum products, it would be a terrible day for us all”, the drivers said.