The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) says Ghana is at a high risk of losing more revenue if it continues to ignore the fuel smuggling menace in the country.
COPEC believes strongly that the government has turned a blind eye to the fuel smuggling issue which if not handled properly, will affect all consumers.
“Indeed we are not surprised at all. We have raised several concerns. We have said variously that if Ghana does not check the insurgence of the incidence of illegal fuel been served to Ghanaians, you will not only kill the OMCs who are genuinely paying all the taxes; you will also rob the state of the revenue. These criminals are equally entrenching their stay in Ghana. Above all of this is the fact that most of the fuel that these guys manage to eventually get to our pumps are not only untested but some are very bad products” Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah said.
Reports have indicated that Government risks losing 1.5 billion Ghana cedis to fuel smuggling this year.
But for the smuggling of fuel, Ghana would have gained more than 5 billion cedis in revenue in 2017.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Mr. Duncan Amoah said government must sit up and tackle the issue with iron hands to stop the illegal smuggling of fuel.
“We raised the issue, several initiatives were embarked upon but clearly we seem not to have found the solution to this menace. This problem is way bigger than even the galamsey issue. If government paid half the attention it has paid to galamsey to fuel smuggling, I can assure you that this could be curtailed in 24hours if the government went after them” he added.
Ghana lost over $150 million to fuel smuggling in September and November 2016, according to reports.
Fuel smuggling won’t stop without sanctions – Oil Firms
Both Bulk Oil Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies have complained that aside resulting in revenue losses to the state, the smuggling of petroleum products causes huge losses to them.
Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyeman Duah said the criminal activity resulted in a 15% loss of volumes to his members last year.
The OMCs have been threatening, since April this year, to lay off workers at their filling stations and other offices if the government did not do something about the market.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana