Mr Tampuli, who was speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra on the sidelines of a Petroleum Safety Campaign programme last Friday, said the industry needed such an independent assessment body to ensure that activities of retail outlets conformed to best practices.“
Mr Tampuli also stated that although the present NPA guidelines requires retail operators to send periodic reports to the authority for assessment, such provisions had not been adhered to. “The risk assessment, however, has provisions that compels the operators to submit their reports indicating incidents such as accidents and near misses from product discharge, sales and maintenance occurred retail stations,” the CEO added.
He indicated that a safety campaign being embarked on by the NPA on the theme: “People’s Safety First,” would engage all stakeholders on the need to ensure safely in their operations to reduce mishaps in the petroleum industry. As part of the campaign, Mr Tampuli said a safety day would be observed every year to raise consciousness in operations in the downstream petroleum sector. He also stated that safety workshops and public sensitisation programmes for pump attendants and operational staff of OMCs and depot managers would be organised.
“We shall have public sensitisation programmes through the media to raise awareness of the collective responsibility for safety,
“The safety campaign will not be limited to education alone, there will be intensive inspections and monitoring of safety benchmarks in petroleum facilities in the country and where applicable sanctions will apply,” Mr Tampuli added.
For his part, the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, observed that fuel smuggling persisted because the players in the sector were condoning such acts. Concerning threats to lay off workers if illegal dumping of exported petroleum products on the Ghanaian market was not curtailed, Mr Agyarko claimed that “in most cases, the criminals among you, when they are caught, you will be the first to appeal for their release, threatening not to vote for the government if pushed through,” he said.
Petroleum products meant for export to countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso often find their way back onto the local market. The products do not attract taxes and levies owing to ECOWAS protocols which Ghana is a signatory.
As a result, such products are much cheaper on the local market, thus, denying the government revenue and also causing the OMCs to lose business.
“Sometimes, it takes a certain boldness in leadership to implement certain decisions; all of us must get involved in changing our attitudes, “Let us not adopt the posture of scepticism, since that could take you out of business,” Mr Agyarko emphasised.
Source: Daily Graphic