NPA Well Done, Keep It Up


News about the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) clobbering nine downstream operators over infractions is heartwarming.

Fining the companies for breaching various regulations is a step in the right direction.

The latest action from the NPA comes on the heels of a previous one against a company for not being on top of its assignment by allowing contaminated fuel to be dispensed to customers.

The role of regulatory bodies in the running of a country cannot be overlooked.

The downstream segment of the petroleum industry demands close watch by the regulator whose function, thankfully, is not being shirked.

Since Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid took over the mantle of leadership of the authority, we have observed a ramping up of its activities. With the mandate to ensure that customers are served what is their due, and the country not shortchanged, the actions that have been taken so far are those which assure Ghanaians that we can count on the productive running of the industry in conformity with the law especially, the downstream segment.

Illicit third party activities which some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) engage in, and the unlawful lifting of petroleum products could be only a tip of the iceberg of irregularities.

There could be more which we are sure, with time, would be exposed and attract the appropriate sanctions from the NPA.

Only vigilance and effective cooperation with the relevant publics will expose such anomalies.

We, therefore, call on the NPA to establish such links that would endear it to persons with information about anomalies being perpetrated by some industry players.

That the anomalies as spelt out in a preceding paragraph have just been noticed, is suggestive of the fact that it is not a novelty.

Further investigations into activities of OMCs could unearth unimagined irregularities as they play out in the industry to the detriment of the country’s economy.

The NPA is a vital regulator, its mandate over the management of the petroleum sector having critical importance for the economy.

It is for this reason that the CEO and his managers should be supported in whatever form to apply the rules and to sanction defaulters.

In times like we are now, when the global economy is in an unusual turbulence, anything that would have negative impact on the country’s economic fortune should be tackled with unusual vigour.

Documentation of activities in the industry is intended to ensure that nothing untoward takes place. When therefore, an OMC delivers petroleum products to a retail outlet or bulk consumer not registered with the regulator, the negative intention of the said supplier is not in doubt.

Equally, the lifting of petroleum products from unregistered bulk depots, which has gone on for long, constitutes an illegality. Its discovery and the accompanying action from the regulator is worthy of plaudits for the CEO and his team.

Tags: ,