Ghana’s downstream petroleum regulator, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has revealed that discussions are underway which will lead to the establishment of a specialised office that will be mandated to prosecute criminal elements in the downstream petroleum sector.
The activities of such unscrupulous characters have negatively impacted expected revenue generation for national development.
During the recent 2020 budget presentation to Parliament, the West African nation’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta indicated that the NPA would be given additional powers to enable them sanction players in the industry who are determined to cheat the system.
Speaking at this year’s Africa Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA) conference on petroleum downstream supply and distribution sector in Accra, capital of Ghana, CEO of NPA, Mr. Hassan Tampuli emphasized that the industry needs to be purged from recalcitrant elements who do not want to play by the rules.
“The industry has been plagued by a number of bottlenecks with chiefly among them is the lose of almost GHC868m to illegal activities by some petroleum service providers, who routinely have been dumping products meant for export back into the Ghanaian market. Through regulatory interventions we have curtailed the issue significantly,” he said.
“Only two weeks ago cabinet gave a fiat to the Attorney General for the NPA to prosecute cases associated with the downstream petroleum industry regarding miscreants who refuse to comply. So, in the coming weeks and months we shall setup a prosecution department and shall deal with such cases.”
Mr. Tampuli also urged participants to work together to improve the infrastructure gaps in the industry, as demands for petroleum products continue to rise.
The conference creates a common platform for industry experts drawn from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, to discuss ways by which they can improve the petroleum sector in their respective countries.