An assessment carried out by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in May to June 2013 to evaluate the extent of malpractices at various retail outlets across the country recorded some violations.
Over 1,000 stations were sampled and tested, with 32 percent of retail outlets recording these violations.
Also, a marking and field monitoring of marked petroleum products from September 2013 to December 2019 by the NPA indicates a drop in the rate of violations from 32 percent to 1.99 percent.
The drop in rate of violations translates to an estimated revenue recovery of GH¢249 million as at the end of 2018 in tax revenue in addition to significant savings made on subsidies.
The Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare disclosed this at the launch of phase two of Petroleum Product Marking Scheme, (PPMS) in Accra.
The PPMS Unit provides a foundation for an effective quality monitoring system by introducing a marker in trace qualities into petroleum products at all operational depots in the country prior to distribution to the market.
The marker is a unique identifier which aids in distinguishing the various types of petroleum products and exposes the addition of a foreign product.
Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare noted that the drop is attributable to the deterrent effect the scheme and government policies are having on the perpetrators of product adulteration in the industry.
She stated that the extent of violations translated to an estimated government revenue loss in excess of 50 million Cedis in the form of lost tax revenue and diverted subsidies on social products.
According to her, a well-executed program will benefit the government and people of Ghana with further estimated revenue recovery and reduction in pollution created by emissions from use of adulterated petroleum products.
She stated that the NPA, through meaningful and consistent engagement with its stakeholders, continuously strive to ensure that consumers of petroleum products are assured of high quality fuel from petroleum product retail outlets in the country.
Madam Frema Osei-Opare added that such measures taken to guarantee product quality is the deployment of the PPMS which is designed to check product adulteration and also address some revenue leakages associated with the sale and smuggling of petroleum products.
She noted that fuel adulteration is a global problem that needs stringent measures to deal with, decrying the alarming rate of cheating often perpetuated on the consumer.
The Chief of Staff stated that the scourge of fuel adulteration is that consumers who pay for quality products not only end up being cheated but lose money in the process.
She further pointed out that the reputation of the fuel retail outlet where the purchase is made is also tarnished and the government also loses millions of Cedis in revenue that is needed to develop the country.
Madam Frema Osei-Opare was hopeful that the scheme will continue to help stamp out deceitful dealers who supply substandard fuel to consumers and will give Ghanaian consumers the assurance that they are getting value for the money for the petroleum products they purchase.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Mr. Alhassan Tampuli, noted that the launch has become necessary due to the importance the NPA places on engaging players in the downstream industry.
He pointed out that contaminated fuels do not only have a negative impact on the environment but causes costly damage to combustion systems.
According to him, many mechanical breakdowns such as engine failure and fuel starvation can be attributed to poor quality of petroleum products.
“In this regard, an effective fuel quality management system in place will ensure that the quality of petroleum products is constantly monitored by fuel quality tests and analysis to mitigate potential effects of poor quality fuels and assure customers of improved quality of fuel and value for money”. he added.
Mr. Tampuli said the establishment of the PPMS is aimed at ensuring consumer satisfaction with regards to the quality of petroleum products supplied to the market and also to provides a foundation for an effective quality monitoring system by introducing a marker in trace quantities into petroleum products at all operational depots in the country prior to distribution to the market.
He reiterated that the marker is a unique identifier which aids in distinguishing the various types of petroleum products and exposes the addition of a foreign product.
This according to him is achieved by testing samples of petroleum products on a monthly basis at approximately 75 percent of retail outlets across the country.
He disclosed that tests are carried out with proprietary analytical devices which detect the presence or otherwise of the marker.
Mr. Tampuli stated that the national consumption of petroleum products which saw a 6 percent decline in 2016 increased by a percentage in 2017 and recorded a 16 percent increase in 2018 due to intensified measures put in place to curb the menace.
He added that the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributing Companies 2018 industry report clearly stated that the marker concentration failure rates of 4.9 percent recorded in 2017, also fell to 1.24 percent, indicating lower levels of product dumping at the retail stations.
“As indicated in their 2017 report, the fuel marking programme, introduced in 2012, empowered the NPA to identify and legally deal with participants in the illicit trade of the retail chain of the petroleum downstream sector”. Mr. Tampuli noted.
He assured Ghanaians that the NPA will do its utmost best to ensure that consumers are given value for money when they purchase fuel from their favourite petroleum retail outlets.
By: Paul Mamattah