The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, says the country is being denied revenue as a result of illicit fuel trade activities happening on the Aflao border.
He cautioned that the NPA had not licensed any importer to bring fuel through the Aflao border, and further urged the border officers to stop the importation of petroleum products by road.
The NPA boss made these comments when he led the management of the Authority to tour the Aflao border to familiarize himself with illegal activities on the border.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said fuel smuggling is still a menace that denies the government of the right revenue.
“The NPA is an agency responsible for monitoring the downstream petroleum industry, and that combating fuel activities is central to what the Authority does,” he emphasized.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said Ghana is the only country in the sub-region that consumes the highest quality of fuel, adding that it is important to maintain such a feat. He therefore stressed the need for these activities to be tackled to the barest minimum.
The Chairman of the Aflao Border Security Committee, Majeed Amandi, in an interview with the media, said unapproved entry points and routes on the Ghana-Togo borders are fuelling criminal activities, including fuel smuggling.
Mr Amandi, who is Assistant Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority Aflao Collection, indicated that Authority is fighting the menace together with other security agencies as well as the NPA in a bid to intensify patrols and enhance efforts to combat the long-standing problem.
He said during patrol operations, they observed that illegal actors operate at midnight to avoid detection. He described them as daring, saying they always find their way into the country’s borders and offload unwholesome petroleum products into the market. He said this is also a result of the non-availability of special boats for patrols on the sea at night.
He also said the border security agencies are in need of working tools to combat the illicit trade. He called on members of the border security committee and management to be alert on such illegal activities, giving the assurance that Customs would liaise with the agencies to ensure the menace is dealt with, and wrongdoers handed over to the appropriate authorities for the necessary action.
The Volta Regional Manager of the NPA, Mr Rasheed Dauda, said he appreciates the collaboration with the security agencies at Aflao, and pledged to work closely with them to arrest the criminals.