The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says his outfit is investigating eight Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) that loaded products for export but ended up going to Kpone, near Tema, to offer the product for sale. Hassan Tampuli disclosed this at the launch of the Petroleum Product Marking Scheme (PPMS) Phase II on Tuesday, February 19, 2020. “We’re currently investigating eight trucks that loaded for export but ended up at a depot. You loaded to Niger and you ended up at Kpone and started calling OMCs we also feigned interest and got them,” he said mincing to mention the culprits.
According to him, his outfit would continue to pursue those who are engaging in illegalities in the sector. He noted that petroleum products consumption statistics has shown that collaborative efforts by the NPA, National Security and other security agencies have helped to drastically reduce the menace of supply leakages such as export dumping in the country. “National consumption of petroleum products, which saw a 6 percent decline in 2016, increased by a percentage in 2017 and recorded a 16 percent increase in 2018 due to intensified measures put in place to curb the menace. “The Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributing Companies’ (CBODs) 2018 industry report clearly stated that the marker concentration failure rates of 4.9 percent recorded in 2017, also fell to 1.24 percent, thereby, indicating lower levels of product dumping at the retail stations,” Mr Tampuli averred.
The NPA CEO explained that the fuel marking programme, which was introduced in 2012, empowered the NPA to identify and legally deal with participants in the illicit trade of the retail chain of the petroleum downstream sector. ”All these were as a result of sustained government policy to deal with the malpractices in the petroleum downstream sector. This will recoup the government’s revenue which is being lost through diversion of subsided petroleum products,” he said. The PPMS entered a new phase of the programme on April 1, 2019. Nationwide Technologies Limited (NTL) has been contracted to undertake the fuel marking activities in Ghana with Authentix Inc. as a sub-contractor. Mr Tampuli said the phase II of the PPMS is anchored on technological advancements in the markers, as well as the detection proprietary equipment.
The marker has been uniquely designed for the Ghanaian market with a chemical composition to aid in immediate equipment quantification and detection to enable the NPA make swift decisions on whether retail outlets have dumped or adulterated the petroleum products being offered for sale at retail outlets across the country.
Phase II of the PPMS will see the NPA improve upon the following: sustained successful marking and field monitoring of marked petroleum products; reduction in the retail outlet failure rate, which is indicative of the decrease in the malpractices in the distribution and sale of petroleum products; improvement in stakeholder awareness in furtherance of the NPA’s medium term strategy; significant reduction in the fuel tax revenue loss and subsidy abuse; and improved quality of products at the retail outlets for consumers of petroleum products.
Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Dr Amin Adam, who was at the event congratulated the NPA for their continuous effort to clean up the petroleum downstream sector. He also encouraged the NPA not to rest on their oars because there is more to be done and achieved in the petroleum industry. The Chief of Staff of Ghana Madam Akosua Frema- Osei Opare said “fuel adulteration is a worldwide problem which needs stringent measures to arrest and defeat it.” She said fuel adulteration has dire consequences on the revenue projection of government since those who engage in the illicit trade fail to pay the needed taxes.
She was therefore hopeful that this new phase two of the PPMS will block the revenue leakages and help the government raise the needed revenue to carry out other developmental projects. “I am very confident that this program will help Ghanaian consumers realize that they are getting value for money,” she concluded. Industry coordinator and chairman of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyemang Duah underscored the need for the regulator to be consistent in its fight against illicit trading in the petroleum downstream sector. He called on the authority to ensure the development of a fair and consistent policy that is enforceable.