The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has in collaboration with the security agencies mapped out plans to clampdown fuel smuggling activities on the borders along the Upper East Region.
The Authority has partnered the security services to position some staff and security personnel at the smuggling hot spots to stop the menace.
At a media engagement held over the weekend in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Manager of NPA, Mr. Bashiru Natogma, said the initiative had improved the sale of quality fuel supply in the region.
Fuel smuggling has been one of the obstacles in the petroleum downstream of the supply chain in Ghana where both bulk distribution companies and consumers suffer in terms of pricing and demands.
The Upper East Region, which is bordered by these landlocked countries, has been the target of fuel smugglers using the numerous unapproved routes to illegally transport the product, mostly in the night.
Chief Executive of NPA, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, initiated the measures to curb the pilfering.
Mr. Natogma, said tracking systems had been installed on vehicles carrying petroleum products to the BDCs as well as the points of discharge.
He said incentives had also been introduced to the foreign petroleum transporters who send fuel to neighboring Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger for easy take off of the products to discourage middlemen from smuggling the product.
Mr. Natogma stressed that a rapid response mechanism had also been adopted to eradicate the menace.
He reaffirmed the Authority’s mandate in ensuring consumers get quality petroleum products to ensure value for money.
“My team, in partnership with the security agencies, has made fuel smuggling very difficult especially at the border towns because that’s where majority of the smuggling takes place.
“We are therefore sending a strong warning to all identified and those yet to be identified in the fuel smuggling business to stop or face the law. We are not leaving any stone unturned in the fight against fuel smuggling in the border towns and some defunct fuel stations,” Mr. Bashiru cautioned.
Pindaa community in the Kassena Nankana Municipality, Nakolo in the Kassena Nankana West District, Kulungugu in the Pusiga District, Nayagnia in the Kassena Nankana Municipality, Bongo Soe in the Bongo District and some other border communities in the region are among the spots where the exercises are being carried out.
Mr. Natogma urged the public to report to the NPA through its toll-free contact numbers, any illegal and unapproved activities at the fuel stations or the LPG refilling points.
He also advised consumers who fall victim to cheating at the pumps to obtain receipts as evidence.
The Head of Planning at the NPA, Mr. Dominic Aboagye, briefed journalists on fuel supply and availability in Ghana. He gave the assurance that the NPA would ensure uninterrupted supply of quality petroleum products to Ghanaians and its clients in Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger.