Dealers in petroleum products in the country steal close to GHC 50million annually through various underhand activities, including the adulteration of products and the diversion of cargo, Alex Mould, CEO of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has said.
From September, the NPA wants to start naming and shaming oil-marketing companies, dealers and retail outlets that engage in such activities.
The regulator of the downstream petroleum sector is instituting measures including the use of a chemical marker to mark the fuels and prevent the muting of subsidised fuels with non-subsidised ones.
“They could mix premix into petrol and put it in a petrol tank and you and I would not know because there is very little engine oil in premix, and they mix it in such a way that we do not know.
“But they make a lot of money in doing that because every litre of premix is subsidised by about a GHQ 1.50. So there is a big incentive for them to do that. Our job here is to remove that incentive,” Alex Mould told the B&FT.
When used in vehicles, such adulterated fuels can damage the vehicles.
Aside from the adulteration of products, dealers take undue advantage of the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF), which pays for the transportation of products over long distances by claiming they are transporting over long distances when they are not.
“If you take a product to Wa, the freight is different from if you take it from Tema to Accra. So some people actually have been cheating the UPPF by claiming they are taking products over very
“So one of the things the NPA has done is that we are putting vehicle trackers on the vehicles as well as putting volume trackers on the cargo to ensure that, first, we know where the product is being taken arid, secondly, to ensure that the right quantity has been taken there,” said Alex Mould.
In August, he said, the NPA will start testing the system and by September start naming and shaming culprits for people to know which retail outlets are cheating them.
“We will make sure that these are published and we will make sure that the law follows its people are penalised as per the legislation that backs the process.”
Although Government has removed subsidies on petrol, diesel and LPG, products like premix fuel, kerosene, Marine Gas Oil (MGO) used by fishermen with trawlers, and refined fuel used by the petroleum industry to fire boilers continue to be subsidised.
The subsidies are responsible for the adulteration of the products. Industry players, including Bulk Distribution Companies and the NPA itself, have been calling for the total removal of subsidies in the sector to allow for full cost-recovery and a more deregulated environment.
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