The Vice President, Alhaji. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed that the illicit activities going on in the petroleum downstream industry are estimated to cost the country over US$200 million annually.
He made this known during the launch of the Command and Control Centre for the Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) and the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) on January 14, 2020 at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Conference Room.
The Vice President stated that “Government is concerned about the illicit activities going on in the petroleum downstream industry mostly in the form of illegal bunkering, smuggling of petroleum products and dumping of products meant for export on the local market. These activities constitute an emerging threat which impacts negatively on our maritime security as well as the nation’s efforts in mobilizing tax revenue from the sale of petroleum products.”
He commended the technological approach adopted by the NPA in its efforts at improving standards and efficiency through the introduction of the BRV and ECTS in the fight against illicit activities in the petroleum downstream sector.
Dr. Bawumia urges NPA to collaborate with relevant state agencies to attract the necessary private investment and appropriate technology into the sector as government welcomes the participation of the private sector in the industry.
The Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu in his speech noted that “The Ministry of Energy on its part will ensure a pragmatic review of policies such as the Zonalization and Local Content policies to ensure cost effectiveness and value addition to the Petroleum Downstream value chain and also ensure that Ghanaians benefit from opportunities within the industry.”
He added that as Safety and Health management is one of the vital constituents of the industry, all stakeholders should ensure that at all times in their operations as most of the operational conditions and products associated with the oil and gas sector are well known to pose safety and health threats to lives and properties which need to be effectively and efficiently managed.
Mr. Alhassan Tampuli, Chief Executive Officer of the NPA indicated that the introduction of the BRV Tracking and Cargo Tracking Systems is a demonstration of their commitment to improving standards and controls in the distribution of petroleum products in the country. "All sectors of the economy stand to benefit from an efficiently managed downstream oil sector that delivers petroleum products in the right quantity and, the required quality at all times.”
According to the CEO, it is in the plans of NPA to enhance the platform provided by the BRV and the Electronic Cargo Tracking System and the Command Centre to build a formidable controlling and monitoring system for petroleum products distribution from imports and refinery production to the retail outlets and bulk customers.
CK Lim, CEO of Ascent Solutions (Singapore) stated that “…the data collected will enable NPA to provide critical business analytics in the very near future…I see this to be the beginning of an exciting digital era where more can be done with data from today.”
Also present at the launch were the Director-General of State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Daniel McKorley CEO of McDan Group of Companies among others.