Gov’t acts swiftly against illegal petroleum diversion …introduces e-tracking device to curb US$200m annual smuggling

by Johny

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in its bid to tackle illegal petroleum diversion and illegal bunkering, has unveiled an electronic cargo tracking system and a national command centre to curb the menace.

Ghana, according to the NPA is reportedly losing about US$200 million to illegal fuel diversion annually, but the introduction of the device, according to government will ensure drastic reduction in the activity.

Conversely, the NPA explained that the introduction of the Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) and cargo tracking system is a demonstration of the authority’s commitment to improving standards and controls in the distribution of petroleum products in the country.

NPA’s CEO, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, however expressed worry that about 98 percent of the volume of petroleum products moved within the country are done using BRVs.

This mode of transportation, Mr. Tampuli noted, is however associated with many challenges including transit product shortages and false haulage claims.

This he said, had previously led to the introduction of the BRV tracking system in 2014 by the NPA in order to have visibility on the movement BRVs, their location and where petroleum products are loaded.

Hence, the introduction of the electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS) and the Command Centre at the NPA, according to Tampuli, is to further tighten the controls in the supply chain and also provide a platform for planned control measures to be deployed at the retail outlets to ensure effective tax mobilization.

Group Photo of dignitaries at the function

Other initiative billed to be introduced by the NPA this year, include the deployment of an automatic tank gauging and stock management and monitoring systems at retail outlets throughout the country.

This system is expected to give both the NPA and the Ghana Revenue Authority a real time view of petroleum stocks at all retail outlets.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Mohammed Amin Adam disclosed that the government, apart from advance plans to transport petroleum products via the Volta Lake and to construct pipelines from Tema-Akosombo-Kumasi, is also considering transporting fuel by rail.

Chairman of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) Mr Kwaku Agyemang Duah, expressed his delight towards the introduction of the device and pledged the support of the association towards the initiative

Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, inaugurating the device and the centre, said the initiative was part of government’s agenda to digitize the economy and to ensure maximum revenue collection for growth. Source: BusinessZone Online

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