The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has, in the last eight months, accrued an estimated revenue savings in taxes, levies and statutory margins amounting to GHS1.8 million.
The amount was accumulated from impounded Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) engaged in export diversion and smuggling, who were made to pay the statutory penalties and appropriate levies. This covers the period from September last year to May 2018.
In all, the NPA disclosed that a combined total of one million litres of petrol and diesel were smuggled, with quantities valued at GHS1.3 million passing through Kpone in Greater Accra, GHS287, 820 through Takoradi, GHS82, 000 through Tamale and GHS73, 800 through Tema Newtown within the eight months.
This situation, can be described as worrying especially at a time that the NPA is making efforts to curtail the growing concerns of petroleum export diversions and smuggling.
NPA’s CEO, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, at the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhIPCON) in Accra, explained that the challenge of export diversions and smuggling has become a critical national concern requiring extra attention.
“As the NPA churns out new strategies to combat those crimes, the smugglers also devise extra schemes to outwit the system. This definitely requires the attention of all security agencies,” Mr. Tampuli told the Goldstreet Business.
These happenings, may also question how the registration of petroleum product carriers is being carried out as that could be contributing significantly in creating fertile grounds for easy diversion and smuggling.
The National Petroleum ACT 2005 (ACT 152) requires all BRVs, apart from being legally registered, to have documentation which includes Certificates of Incorporation and Commencement of Business; Certificate for Carrying LPG; Vehicle Insurance Certificate (Comprehensive); Driver and Mate Accident Insurance Policy and Goods-In-Transit (GIT) Insurance Policy.
Other requirements are Driver Vehicle & Licensing Authority (DVLA) Road Worthiness Certificate and Testing Certificate from Road Safety Limited/State Transport Corporation.
However, reports indicate that the above requirements are sometimes ignored in the registration of new trucks. There are allegations that some trucks are owned by persons without registered companies while others have also registered without vehicles or garages.
That could pose challenges to monitoring as some of the trucks involved may not have the proper address systems to enable them to be traced in the event of misappropriation.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) dispatches 1,000 BRVs each month, with a total product cost of GHS200 million.