Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has launched an Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and a national Command Centre for the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in Accra.
The ECTS and the Command Centre aim at improving the efficiency of NPA in the monitoring of Bulk Roads Vehicles (BRVs) nationwide.
The move is further aimed at eliminating or reducing illicit activities associated with the transportation of petroleum products across the country.
The Command Centre is fully with computers, and vehicle tracking devices.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the Vice President commended the NPA and its collaborating Institutions for their continuous efforts at improving efficiency in the downstream petroleum sector.
He noted that the NPA plays an important role in the Ghanaian economy.
About 98℅ of petroleum products in Ghana, according to the Chief Executive of NPA, Alhassan Tampuli, are transported by roads.
Mr. Tampuli lamented that there were several illicit activities in the downstream petroleum sector which were causing the country huge revenues annually.
Among the illicit activities are dumping and smuggling.
Dr. Bawumia said Ghana was losing an amount of $200 million or GH¢ 1.1 billion annually in tax revenue due to the illicit activities in the sector.
The lost amount, he said, represented about 51.5℅ of the money Government needs annually to finance the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
He underscored that Government was concerned about the network of illegal activities in the downstream petroleum sector.
He stated that the illegal activities posed national security threats and undermined Government’s tax revenues mobilization drive.
As a result, he said such technology as the ECTS which is a product of a Singaporean company, Ascent Solutions, was highly needed in tackling illicit activities in the sector, thereby curbing corruption.
He said Government was committed to sanitizing the downstream petroleum sector and ensuring that BOST is well-mannered.
Also as part of efforts to address illegal activities in the sector, he said, Government was contemplating on digitizing the distribution of premix fuel across the country.
He said it was the intention of the Government that premix fuel subsidies are paid to fisherfolks electronically to reduce corruption.
Mr. Tampuli assured that the NPA is determined to curb illicit activities in the downstream petroleum sector.
Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, observed the need for Ghana to develop other modes of transportation such as rail and river to ensure the smooth and safe distribution of petroleum products.