Fuel smuggling: intensify efforts to disband the illegal fuel gang now- COPEC

44

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers(COPEC-GH) wants the National Petroleum Authority and the Security Agencies to step up efforts to disband operations of fuel smuggling syndicate, whose activities appear to be rife in Ghana.

Ghana lost over $150 million to fuel smuggling in September and November 2016, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers has said.

Current poor levels of Margins for the operators has been blamed as one of the factors pushing the illegal trader further in the system and will need to be fixed.

A statement from the Chamber said the current arrests must not be a nine day wonder urging security security agencies and the authority to work even harder at bringing this disturbing phenomenon to an end.

“Operational and Regulatory charges also contribute immensely or serve a fertile grounds for the influx of these illegal cheap but adulterated products and will have to be thoroughly looked at if we want to see the back of these illegal gangs,” the statement added.

Below is the full statement

CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA

ARRESTS OF ILLEGAL FUEL OPERATORS;

STEP UP EFFORTS TO DISBAND THE ILLEGAL FUEL GANG NOW.

15/04/18

News of recent arrests by the National Petroleum Authority together with other Security Operatives indeed comes as a huge relief to Ghanaian consumers who have had to live with the repercussions of these fuel smuggling gang for sometime now.

Activities by the illegal operators who do not only bypass the system and evade taxes to shortchange the state of the needed revenue also poses a grave danger to the health of the public and the functionality and life span of our engines.

The chain of these operators has been quite difficult to apprehend as it spans from highly placed political actors to money at all cost business men who have gained a good portion of the market from some already squeezed Oil Marketing Companies and Dealers who also derive maximum profits from buying and selling these cheap smuggled but often adulterated products.

Our own investigations at the Chamber in recent times indicates very high amounts of influx of these illegal products onto the market together with product diversions in the market, these operators are able to beat the revenue collection systems yet are able to get the fuels sold for prevailing market rates just as the compliant operators.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Country is on record to have lost over Ghc 850 million in direct revenues last year alone, largely due to the activities of these illegal fuel smugglers, a situation that has often been decried by the Association of Oil Marketing Companies.

Several illegal structures dotted along the Tema-Kpone-Ashaiman stretch have often in the dead of the night been used for these illegal fuel smuggling activities, adulteration and eventual release and sale onto the market of these fuels for the use of the unsuspecting public will indeed have to addressed immediately and if possible these structures demolished.

These activities not only makes some unscrupulous persons richer at the expense of the State but also goes a long way to serve a disincentive to legal, legitimate businesses who decide to stick to the rules and oblige all taxes.

It kills these legitimate operators slowly as the cost of their operations and finances often get squeezed in meeting their commitments whiles the illegal operators only make quick bucks.

Current poor levels of Margins for the operators has been blamed as one of the factors pushing the illegal trader further in the system and will need to be fixed.

Operational and Regulatory charges also contribute immensely or serve a fertile grounds for the influx of these illegal cheap but adulterated products and will have to be thoroughly looked at if we want to see the back of these illegal gangs.

The Council of the Chamber comprising of notable heads of Institutions and Bodies largely affected by developments in the petroleum sector is expected to converge this coming Thursday, 19th April 2018 to discuss further ways of helping to combat this disturbing phenomenon that is not only threatening the engines of the public but also providing leading to huge revenue loses to the State itself.

We encourage the National Petroleum Authority and the Security Agencies not to make this exercise a nine day wonder but to work even harder at bringing this disturbing phenomenon to an end, in order to safeguard the unsupecting public, the Industry itself and Government Revenue.

Signed

Duncan Amoah
Executive Secretary
CopecGhana

Source:  otecfmghana.com/Gyamerah Loius

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here