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31.07.2006 Business & Finance

Petroleum Authority To Review Activities

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The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said it was reviewing its activities to make it more responsive to the needs of the people.

The authority said after one year of existence, it was time for it to take a look at its past, consider the present and work towards the future to enable it to deliver better services.

The Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Mr John Attafuah, said this at a day's seminar organised by the NPA for members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) at Dodowa at the weekend.

The seminar, which also featured top officials from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), Bank of Ghana, Tanker Owners Association and other players in the oil industry, took participants through topics concerning the industry.

The NPA was established last year to regulate, oversee and monitor activities of the petroleum downstream industry, establish a unified petroleum price fund, as well as provide for related purposes.

The authority had gone through a lot of turbulent moments as it started with the fixing of petroleum prices as part of the deregulation policy of the government in the oil sector.

Presently, the NPA has almost succeeded in weaning itself off the pricing of the products as it had left the process in the hands of the OMCs.

Mr Attafuah said the authority had come a long way and had over the past year managed to organise tenders for the players in the industry in a transparent manner.

"This is a plus for the NPA and we are proud of that because many thought we were going to be partial against the small OMCs, but this has not been the case", he added.

On the issue of the taxes on petroleum products, Mr Attafuah said the authority had no hand in them and that the taxes were those introduced by the government as direct taxes to enable it to generate some funds to accelerate the development of the country.

Mr Attafuah said the taxes could only be reviewed with the consent of Parliament and not the authority. "If the House approves anything, we would have very little to do with it and we would be happy to implement it", he said.

It also came to light that the OMCs, the tanker operators and the Road Fund secretariat were not happy with what the authority paid them for their services and called on the OMCs to review their rates.

The implication would have been that the cost would have to be passed on to the consumers, but the authority said much as they had a genuine concern, it was not yet ripe for that.

Mr Attafuah called for greater collaboration between the parties to enable them to collectively deliver the best of services to the people.

The President of IFEJ, Mr Lloyd Evans, commended the NPA for the opportunity and indicated that the seminar would go a long way to enable the financial journalists to better inform the public about issues pertaining to the sector.

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