The group that secured a court ruling ordering the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to remove illegal ex-refinery differentials from the petroleum pricing formula says it will go to court again to get the NPA to comply with the ruling.
Development Data filed an application seeking a declaration that the ex-refinery differentials are illegal and an order that the levies be removed and the total amount collected so far paid into the consolidated fund.
The NPA after dithering in complying with the court order filed a motion for a stay of execution, in order to pursue an appeal, which was thrown out this week.
The Chief Executive of the NPA, Mr Alex Mould announced Thursday that the matter had been resolved because “We have, in consultation with all the stakeholders, agreed that this ex refinery differentials is necessary in the price buildup formula…we then sought approval, we got approval, we are now gazetting it.
“The judge said because the last published gazetted petroleum pricing formula did not include the ex refinery differential, he doesn’t see how we can put the ex refinery differential in. So now that we have published it …using the processes which the judge asked us to use and now that we have gazetted it, the ex refinery differential or the stabilizing margin is part of the new prescribed petroleum pricing formula and as such we don’t have a problem,” he added.
But the Executive Director of Development Data, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, said the NPA’s behavior was clearly a flagrant violation of the court orders, insisting the NPA must secure parliamentary approval of its so-called new formula.
The court said that the “NPA is restrained from imposing the ex-refinery differential on petroleum products in the country until approve by Parliament and the relevant procedures are complied with,” something the NPA said it has done but which Development Data challenges.
“Complying with the relevant procedures would be what, that you just enter your office and say you have varied the formula to include the illegality and therefore you have complied, is that the intention of the law”? Kwaku Kwarteng asked.
He said Section 80 (1)(d) of the Act establishing the NPA expressly requires that the NPA revises its petroleum pricing formula in accordance with a Legislative Instrument “that as far as I am concerned has not even been sent to Parliament yet. That Legislative Instrument through which they are allowed to modify the formula is even yet to be sent to Parliament.”
Mr Kwarteng said the NPA should do the decent thing by removing the illegal levies and if after that they want to re-impose it lawfully, they can go to Parliament and follow through with the appropriate procedure.
He said Ghanaians must wake up to the fact that the money collected from them illegally by the NPA is far greater than the GHS58 million paid to NDC financier Alfred Woyome which has become an issue for a national debate.
“What is happening with this ex-refinery differentials is worse than the Woyome matter…we are talking about GHS700 million that Mr Alex Mould is telling us has already been exhausted. The court said they must load that money into the consolidated fund; if they will not do that we will be going back to court to complain of what the NPA has done subsequent to its ruling,” he stated.