Following the economic impact of the novel Coronavirus on individuals and businesses, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is urging government to consider providing emergency assistance to oil and gas companies.
According to COPEC, a lot of these companies are, “are reeling heavily under the harsh effects of our 3 weeks lockdown and subsequent low volumes and revenues which can increase job losses and redundancy within the country.”
In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Duncan Amoah, COPEC is petitioning the National Petroleum Agency (NPA), “to ease down on the heavy license renewal fees charged to these companies to enable them to adjust to the vagaries of the Coronavirus outbreak on their businesses.”
This according to COPEC will ensure the companies to “keep fuel prices lower for Ghanaians without the tendency to increase or collect their full margins which can only lead to increases in pump prices.”
COPEC further called on the Ghana Revenue Authority to give Oil companies a 6 – month moratorium instead of the current one spanning up to end of July to file their returns later than the current 45 days.
They argue that, “sales volumes across the board has reduced significantly and any attempts to enforce the earlier 21 or 45-day collections could only mean going to the banks to borrow which eventually will place undue pressure on them to engage in all manner of games to survive.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is already impacting Ghana severely. Growth is slowing down, financial conditions have tightened, and many individuals are likely to lose their jobs.
Click here for the full statement:
President Akufo-Addo has already announced that all households and small to medium scale enterprises are to benefit from a stimulus package of one billion Ghana cedis.
He also announced a GHS600 million soft loan scheme with a two-year repayment plan to support micro, small and medium scale businesses.
The Finance Committee of Parliament has given authorization to the Minister of Finance to spend GHS1.2 billion from the Contingency Fund.
Externally, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has approved a disbursement of US$1 billion to Ghana to help address the urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs that Ghana is facing in the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.