The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) is to engage with other stakeholders along the value chain to ensure the smooth implementation of the ‘one-system rule’ in the petroleum downstream sector.
Although the ‘one-system rule’ has been adopted in principle, its implementation has largely been constrained by software challenges.
The Managing Director of BOST, Mr George Mensah Okley, explained that the current Information Technology (IT) software used by the Bulk oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) did not support the implementation of the new rule.
“If someone brings a product to one depot, the product will have to be transferred to Kumasi before he or she can get access.
We are saying that the moment you put your product into our system, you should be able to withdraw it anywhere,” he said at a stakeholders engagement with the BDCs in Accra.
The ‘one-system rule’ or zonalisation policy will allow BDCs to withdraw products from BOST warehouses without having to physically transfer the products.
This is expected to help increase sales and cut down cost.
He explained that there was the need for broader consultation on how to address the constraint with all the related stakeholders involved.
“NPA is not represented here. The software company, as well as the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), is also not here.
We felt that we should use another platform to discuss it so that we can iron that issue out to open the door for the implementation of the ‘one-system rule’ and the zonalisation,” he said.
Need for engagement
The stakeholder engagement, Mr Okley noted, was part of efforts to reduce the risk in the industry and ensure the smooth running of operations in the downstream petroleum sector.
“Looking back, there is always tension between BOST and BDCs and so when I took over, I took a policy decision to deepen our relationship with our stakeholders.
Every quarter we will meet with our stakeholders to discuss issues. By so doing we will be transparent and we can address issues,” he said.
He said it was also to look at how best to initiate policies from the discussions and make policy proposals to the government to better shape the downstream industry.
Mr Okley added that efforts by BOST to make operations more effective and efficient were yielding results and that had also been confirmed by the BDCs, citing the call centre established to address their issues.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Mr Senyo Hosi, said it was important for the two institutions to see themselves as partners to work for the collective good of the sector.
The engagement, he said, would help identify the issues and make a collective presentation on how to address the issues.