THE Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has indicated that the Energy ministry has designated two bulk fuel depots solely for export as part of measures to halt the dumping of fuel meant for export and stressed that trucks found to have indulged in smuggling of fuel should be confiscated to the state and the owners banned from operating in the country.
The two are the Bulk Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST) depots in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region for the Northern Region and the Accra Plains in Tema for the Southern sector.The minister also hinted that the ministry is in the process of introducing refundable administrative fees on petroleum products marked for export to make them uneconomic to discharge them locally.
He made these remarks at a breakfast meeting with stakeholders in the downstream petroleum sector in Accra last Friday.The meeting was held to discuss NPA’s safety campaign which is intended to raise awareness for adherence to safety protocols in the industry and to educate the public on their role in preventing fire accidents at various petroleum installations in the country.
According to the Minister of Energy, the new measures were being implemented following the dumping of products intended for exports on the local market.
“It is about time smugglers in the petroleum sector are dealt with like drug pushers who get their properties and third party properties confiscated to the state to serve as deterrent to others,” he stressed.
He said the country needs a draconian law to stop the act in both the private sector and the public sector of the economy and that there was the need for the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to move fast by coordinating the needed laws for Parliament to pass to deal with the alarming rate of illegal exportation of petroleum products in the country he said.
He said that the NPA with the support of the ministry will introduce export guidance, issue product regime, amend the petroleum marketing scheme, and review all petroleum licenses, sanction oil marketing companies which fail the quality test as some of the measures to deal with the situation.
Also, Mr. Alhassan Tampuli, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NPA, announced a decision to review all export licensing regime to check the illegal smuggling of petroleum products which he said, will be followed by consultation with stakeholders to flush out the smugglers.
He called for the need for a paradigm shift to get results from the initiatives that have been rolled out with the support of the Ministry of Energy.
NPA he indicated, will continue to track the trucks to ensure sanity in the petroleum downstream and intensify measure to check the dumping would involve the installation of tracking devices on bulk road vehicles (BRVs) transporting petroleum products meant for export.