Duncan Amoah, Executive Secretary of COPEC
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) in the West African country, Ghana, is calling for the closure of some outlets of the Oil Marketing Companies, which were indicted for under-delivering fuel to its consumers, but have failed to correct the anomaly.
According to COPEC, the recalcitrant fuel outlets should not be allowed to operate until they corrected the anomalies detected by the Ghana Standards Authority.
It would be recalled that the Ghana Standards Authority on 9th June, 2019, issued a report that some 10 fuel retail outlets were in the business of short-changing their customers.
The report mentioned Allied Service Station at Sakaman, Total Service Station at McCarthy Hills, Goodness Service Station at Amanfrom, Goil Service Station-Mile 11, Goil Service Station at Amanfrom, Shell Service Station at Motorway Extension, Shell Service Station Amanfrom, Frimps Oil Service Station at Amanfrom, Glory Oil Service Station at Spintex Road and Frimps Oil Service Station at Spintex Road.
However, addressing a news conference in Accra, Executive Secretary of COPEC Mr Duncan Amoah said their recent visit to the aforementioned fuel retail outlets after the GSA’s report, revealed that some of the stations have taken correctional steps to address the issues the Standards Authority raised while others had failed to comply.
The Goodness Service Station at Amanfrom, he noted, seemed to have changed nothing as far as the availability of the mandatory 10 litre can for customers is concerned.
The Shell Service Station at Amanfrom, similarly, was found in a ‘disappointing’ state.
Aside the unavailability of the 10 litre can, the general sanitary conditions were nothing to boast of and it had no functioning fire extinguishers at the time of visiting, they stated.
“Our roving team, together with the media, visited the Goodness Service
Station at Amanfrom, following the publication of the GSA inspections, but sadly, nothing seems to have changed with this particular station.
“The mandatory 10 litre can which should be available upon demand by the customer was not available and, thus, difficult to ascertain if any corrective measure had been put in place to protect the consumer”, he noted.
About the Shell Service Station at Amanfrom, he said, “is perhaps, the most disappointing of all the visits from the GSA inspections and indictment. This said station, for the record, looks nothing like the regular Shell Stations or outlets and must immediately be closed down, as general sanitary conditions in and around the station were pretty poor and shambolic; no 10 litre can on demand, fire extinguisher clearly empty and lying in a bucket of refuse at the forecourt.”
COPEC, per its findings, therefore, called for the immediate shutdown of both stations as their operations posed more harm to consumers than good.
“We recommend the owners or operators of this particular station (Goodness Service Station) to immediately halt selling to the public, or shutdown this particular outlet and ensure the right things are done to forstall any further shortchanging of the unsuspecting public as duly captured by the GSA,” COPEC said.
They further asked “managers of the Shell brand to immediately dissociate from the said station as it only poses a disgrace to the brand.”
They also cautioned the general consuming public to also boycott this station till effective maintenance and repair works were done.
On Frimps Oil Service at Amanfrom, COPEC said “generally, the station was well kept but clearly under dispensing. As well, all four pumps we randomly sampled gave lower volumes with the 10 litre can, but this lower volume is compensated by the said outlet also being the lowest price service station such that if one added the savings made from buying from the said station, the new volumes now exceed those of the others on the market.”
Mr Duncan Amoah said his outfit intends to push for approximate and adequate compensation for all customers of the above mentioned stations.
According to him, the modalities of this compensation would be jointly determined by the affected stations and key stakeholders, stressing that failure do so would compel the affected persons to seek legal redress at the law courts.
He argued that it would be fair if the customers were compensated.
Call To Report Wrongdoers
Duncan Amoah advised the public to volunteer any useful information on any negative or bad practices from any service station across the country, in order to curtail this negative trade that has bedeviled some operators in the petroleum downstream sub-sector.
“We further assure the general public of a continuous unannounced spot visits to all the various stations across the country, and will not hesitate to draw the attention of regulators and the public to any such stations that will be subsequently found to be selling fuel without the mandatory dispute resolution device or the 10 litre can boldly be displayed at the forecourt.”