The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) has called on the government to regulate the growing activities of black market petroleum dealers which it says are pushing Ghana towards a petroleum crisis.
“Given the gravity of Petroleum Black Market dealers, we members of the AOMCs give the government 48 hours to bring this menace to an end.
“AOMCs firmly believe that the government has the requisite authority, tools, instruments and relevant resources such as security institutions to stamp out this menace within the 48 hours,” Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMCs Industry Coordinator stated at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday.
“AOMCs also believe that elements within regulating institutions, security operatives and the governmental agencies know the culprits and they should act without fear or ill-will,” Mr Agyemang-Duah stated.
He said Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are willing, determined and ready to collaborate with the government to eradicate the activities of illegal Petroleum dealers… “this would be the best Private Public Partnership legacy we expect our government to leave for the business community as well as people of Ghana”.
Mr Agyemang-Duah explained that the ultimatum to government was the last act, as “the association over the period had engaged with the regulator, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and other relevant agencies and Ministries on the Petroleum Black Market dealers on countless occasions.
“Whilst these relevant bodies keep assuring us, that they are working on the ground to address the issues, these unscrupulous people keep escalating their activities on daily basis in the broad daylight with impunity,” he said.
Giving the background to the illegal trade, Mr Agyemang-Duah explained that since 2016, the petroleum market had been inundated with illegal products in huge quantities.
He said it began “as an imperceptible black marketing activity in early 2016, rising gradually to the later part of the year but seemingly subsided after Elections 2016 only to resurrect beyond comparable measure from February 2017”.
The total national petroleum consumption for 2015 was 4,341,519,247 litres.
Based on the 2015 volumes of sales, projected volumes of sales of petroleum products for 2016 should have hit 4,471,764,824 litres but, the consumption for 2016 dropped significantly to only 4,051,101,969 volumes of litres.
In effect more than 420,662,855 volumes of litres was not sold through official channels; “this strategically was due to the activities of Petroleum Black Market dealers with the active support of some unscrupulous security operatives.
“Ghana lost huge sums of money in terms of tax revenue as per official petroleum tax – Special Petroleum Tax GHS132 million was lost to the nation; Energy Debt Recovery Levy about GH¢S123 million; and the Road Fund levy about GHS120 million”.
The AOMCs is also calling on the media to support efforts to deal with petroleum black market dealers.