Duncan Amoah, the executive secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC) says the launch of the National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA) Digital Retail Fuel Monitoring System is a step in the right direction.
Speaking with Asaase Business, Amoah said beyond the launching of the Fuel Monitoring System to curtail the smuggling of fuel, there should also be the political will to go after persons involved in the illegal activity.
He said, “Well, we have been talking about fuel smuggling and the challenges on the economy especially when you look at the fact that we need so much revenue and yet the revenue finds its way into the pockets of some private individuals running into billions of Ghana cedis.
“So we are happy that something is being done about the fuel smuggling issue and it was great news to hear that another step is being taken to curtail the smuggling and we will be happier if, by close of 2021 fiscal year, we see improvement in government revenue following from this launch that has been done,” he said.
Amoah added, “However, we will be quick to add that beyond launching this programme to curtail the smuggling bit, there should also be the political will to go after persons involved in the fuel smuggling…”
Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday (7 April) launched an innovative Digital Retail Fuel Monitoring System by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in Accra.
The Fuel Monitoring System, which allows fuel in Oil Marketing Companies’ tanks across the country to be monitored by NPA, will curb illicit activities in the petroleum downstream sector, such as unauthorized third-party deliveries, fake receipts, smuggling, among others.
Under the Fuel Monitoring System, any OMC that receives illegal fuel would be found out.
Launching the programme in Accra on Wednesday (7 April 2021), Dr. Bawumia commended the NPA for leveraging the government’s digitization drive to create an innovative solution to a major problem in the petroleum industry.
“I am particularly delighted that the NPA is leveraging on technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the distribution of petroleum products in the Petroleum Downstream Industry,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia revealed staggering losses in petroleum revenue to the government due to illegal activities in the distribution of petroleum products, adding that the initiative by the NPA will end the malady of revenue loss and significantly boost government revenue.
“It is estimated that between 2015-2019, the government lost GHC4.7 billion in tax revenue as a result of illegal activities in the petroleum sector,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“Actions, decisions, and policies of individuals and corporate bodies which result in petroleum product distribution leakages and the associated revenue losses to the State have serious negative effects on the developmental agenda of the government.”
Dr. Bawumia underscored the significance of the innovation to the overall development agenda of the government, highlighting the importance of petroleum revenue.
“Taxes and levies on petroleum products are major sources of revenue for the government in pursuing its developmental agenda,” the vice-president said.
He added, “Actions, decisions, and policies of individuals and corporate bodies which result in petroleum product distribution leakages and the associated revenue losses to the State have serious negative effects on the developmental agenda of the government.
“With this latest initiative of the Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System, we look forward to blocking revenue leakages and improving revenue mobilization that would contribute to Government’s efforts to providing social services and funding for infrastructural development.”