Multi-functional team needed to support retail outlet fuel monitoring system

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Duah, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Oil Marketing Companies, has called for a cross-cutting and multi-functional monitoring team to implement the Automatic Tank Gauging and Stock Management and Monitoring Systems.

He said the success of every policy was dependent on how it was implemented hence, a mechanism that would enforce the tenets of the policy.

Mr Agyeman-Duah said this in an interview with Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the launch of the National Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System organized by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in Accra.

The system will give the NPA and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) a real-time view of petroleum products at all retail outlets and ascertain the stock level on a daily basis for easy calculation of the revenue accrued for taxation.

He said, “If we just do investment, it will not solely help but rather it is always good to have a cross-cutting multi-functional monitoring team to support the implementation of the policy. ”

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, said the relevance of the petroleum downstream sector in the economic development of the country could not be overemphasized.

He said the sector was a significant source of jobs, income and taxes and the Petroleum products were used across the entire economy.

The Minister said the price consumers paid for petroleum products had macroeconomic and microeconomic consequences.

“As a Government, we will therefore fully support any initiative that will ensure cost effectiveness and efficiency in the distribution of petroleum products in the country,” he added.

Dr Opoku Prempeh, therefore, commended the Management of NPA for” this laudable initiative. ”

He said the system was based on a State-of-the-Art supervisory platform, which included the installation of Automatic Tank Gauges and Forecourt/Dispenser Transaction Control System that would provide data on sales and in-tank volumes at the forecourt.

The Minister said the monitoring system was made up of four main installation components namely; pump automation, tank automation, central management software and a 3D Laser Tank Calibration System.

Mrs Esther Anku, the Chief Inspector at the NPA, said the introduction of the system was a demonstration of commitment towards improving the efficiency of the petroleum products distribution system.

She said it also constituted a major plank in the broad structures deployed to control illicit activities in the petroleum downstream industry in the country.

Mrs Anku said in pursuance of the mandate of the NPA as the regulator of the Petroleum industry, the Authority carried the task of ensuring regular supply of petroleum products to all parts of the country as well as achieving an efficient petroleum products distribution system.

She said the Authority had an obligation to ensure that the industry continued to remain robust and profitable and had achieved some successes with the deployment of technologies.

These technologies are the installation of bulk road vehicle trackers, petroleum products marking scheme, electronic cargo tracking system and the Enterprise relational database management system.

She said the Authority had also been collaborating with the State security agencies in the fight against illicit activities in the industry.

These collaborative efforts and the technological interventions made so far have immense more and contributed to the steady increase in product consumption recorded to official channels from 3.329 million metric tonnes in 2016 to 4.433 million metric tonnes in 2020.

“This steady growth recovers through official structures has significant positive impacts of petroleum tax revenue available to the government for its developmental agenda,” she added.

Mrs Anku said illicit activities in the petroleum downstream industry continued to pose a threat to the industry, especially the smuggling of petroleum products along the coast into the country and ultimately into the retail outlets.

The Chief Inspector said the system would curb illicit activities and also enable the Authority to monitor petroleum inventories wi. in the country.

She said the system would provide data on sales and in tank volumes that enabled remote monitoring hence an effective tool to combat unauthorized third party deliveries.