The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the regulator of the petroleum downstream industry in Ghana, has seized 73,000 litres of crude oil and 108,000 litres of diesel from smugglers operating on the high seas in the Western Region.
The Navy and Marine Police carried out the separate operations between January and April 2023.
The Western Regional Manager of NPA, Mrs. Sandra Aidoo disclosed this at a media briefing in Takoradi on Thursday.
She said that the smugglers of the diesel were arrested in January and were facing trial in court. She added that the NPA would decide what to do with the product after the case was concluded.
She said that the smugglers of the crude oil escaped in April and left behind their product, which was transported to Accra by the NPA.
Mrs. Aidoo stated that some filling station owners buy these products at cheap prices without paying taxes and compromise the quality of fuel sold at the pumps. She said that this practice was rampant in the Western Region and affected the operations of the NPA.
She said that the NPA had also shut down and revoked the licenses of four filling stations in the region for not meeting its operational standards.
“As part of our monitoring exercises, four retail outlets that did not meet our score were closed down. They are not operating as I speak because they do not meet our requirements,” she said.
The media briefing was organized by the Communications Department of NPA to update the media on its activities in the petroleum downstream industry and answer industry-related questions.
The Legal Manager at the Legal Directorate of NPA, Ms. Farida Ali-Musah said that the NPA had obtained prosecutorial powers from the Attorney General in 2020 to prosecute crimes in the oil supply chain in Ghana.
She said that engaging in an activity in the downstream petroleum industry without NPA certified licensed, misapplication of the prescribed petroleum pricing formula and tempering with Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) tracking and volume monitoring are some of the crimes that would be prosecuted by NPA.
Other crimes include false statements and withholding of material information, obstruction or interference with investigation and selling unmarked fuel.
The Head of Planning of NPA, Mr Dominic Aboagye said that Ghana depended on importation for 80 per cent of its fuel consumption while 20 per cent was produced locally.
He said that efforts were being made by both government and private sector to increase local production of fuel products, including building a refinery by a private entity.
The Corporate Affairs Director of NPA, Mrs. Maria Edith Oquaye welcomed the media on behalf of the Board and Management of NPA and said that last year’s media engagements focused on pricing and quality of petroleum products while this year’s sensitization was on the processes in the supply of petroleum products and the requirements for sitting filling stations.
A member of the Governing Board of NPA and Chairman of the Consumer Services sub-committee, Mr Kwami Sefa Kayi commended NPA for the sensitization drive and emphasized that the media engagement was to inform journalists about the operations of NPA and communicate same to the public.