Commercial drivers strike: Chief of Staff called me to know what GOIL could do to help – CEO

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Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GOIL Company Limited (GOIL), Kwame Osei Prempeh, has disclosed that he had a discussion with the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare on how to assuage the plight of commercial drivers.

He explained that this notwithstanding, government did not direct his outfit to reduce fuel prices.

Speaking on Newfile, on Saturday, Mr Prempeh said the conversation was focused on steps GOIL could take to mitigate the effect of the surge in fuel prices on the operations of commercial drivers.

According to him, the conversation occurred amidst the indefinite strike action by Coalition of Commercial Transport Owners on Monday, December 6.

“I will be lying to say nobody spoke to me. Every responsible government in such a situation will speak to important stakeholders. The Chief of Staff called me that the drivers were on strike and what can GOIL do to help.

“I told her that in the previous window, we went down about 14 pesewas. This one we haven’t decided yet. So we were going to meet on Tuesday to look at our pricing,” he said on Saturday.

According to him, after the deliberations, GOIL decided to reduce its prices.

“So we met at our BDC level and after everything, we decided that if we come down to 6.70, GOIL will still make its margin. It would come down but not be bad for us.”

Mr. Prempeh noted that this is not the first time GOIL has reduced its prices. He stated that when a similar decision was taken in the past, the company was able to generate enough profit, despite the reduction.

“In the previous pricing window, GOIL went to GHC6.99, we decided to reduce it by 14 pesewas. At the close of the window, we found that we had benefited a lot. When we came to GHC6.85, our volumes went up in a very unprecedented manner.

“We believe that it was good for us to look at the price so in this window, we decided to look at our prices. Of course, it coincided with the drivers strike and other things but we assessed everything, we have our BDC, we sat down and said if you go this way, you can make profit,” he recounted.

He emphasised that GOIL has always fixed its prices independently, hence government could not have issued such a directive.

“We have said several times government never forced our hands to reduce our prices. We are in a deregulated environment and GOIL has always fixed its prices independently.

“Almost all OMCs look at GOIL when we fix our prices, most of them under cut us, so they always use GOIL as a yard stick, but we also do a lot. GOIL had never priced according to the market forces. If it had been so, the fuel at the pump now would be more than GHC7.00.

“The pricing policy I met in GOIL when I took over two and a half years ago, is to always look at where GOIL will make a good margin and also make sure that the public is not so much affected,” Mr Prempeh explained.

It would be recalled that following the reduction in fuel prices by GOIL, the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC), wrote to the Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, asking government to stay away from the price deregulation as being implemented by Oil Marketing Companies.

This prompted the Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, to deny the claims that government directed the GOIL Company Limited (GOIL) to reduce its fuel prices at the pumps.

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