The National Petroleum Authority, NPA, says a comprehensive approach has been instituted to ensure the prosecution of offenders or persons complicit in fuel smuggling in the country.
According to the NPA, it has already introduced the Digital Retail Fuel Monitoring System, among others, last year, to address the issue.
Ghana currently loses billions of Ghana cedis to fuel smuggling and other illicit activities associated with the transportation and effective distribution of petroleum products across the country.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Head of Pricing at the National Petroleum Authority, Abass Ibrahim Tasunti stated that taking into consideration measures that have been put in place to curb fuel smuggling, he is confident that there will be an improvement in the distribution system of petroleum products in 2022.
“You are aware that there are several mechanisms the National Petroleum Authority has put in place to address smuggling of petroleum products. One key one is that we track every Bulk Road Vehicle in this country, and we have a live monitoring electronic cargo tracking system where every track is monitored. Also, we mark petroleum products that are loaded from every depot, so that if for example petroleum products that are exported are not marked, and they find their way into filling stations here in Ghana, then the marker concentration in this product will be able to tell that the product meant for export has been adulterated or brought or dumped into stations here in Ghana.”
“So, the mechanism we have are already very efficient, and so what we are going to do is to make sure we enforce them strictly, which we have already started. Smuggling, just like any crime, cannot be eliminated one hundred percent, but we will make sure that we will strictly enforce our regulation mechanism to make sure that it is brought to the barest minimum,” he said.
It will be recalled that government launched an innovative Digital Retail Fuel Monitoring System through the National Petroleum Authority in 2021.
The Fuel Monitoring System, which allows fuel in OMC tanks across the country to be monitored by NPA, will curb illicit activities in petroleum downstream, such as unauthorized third-party deliveries, fake receipts, smuggling, among others. Under this system, any OMC that receives illegal fuel would be found out.
Despite this move, many stakeholders have called for more to be done to address fuel smuggling in the country.