Averting Imminent Fuel Shortage: COPEC Calls For Immediate Action
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) in Ghana is recently warning of a rapid shortage of fuel in the market if nothing is being done about it immediately. According to them, an immediate action must be taken in order to ensure a quick recovery and a speedy resolution of the various challenges encountered at the sea ports. This will ensure a smooth discharge of Petroleum products into the market. The Chamber stood their ground on the fact that the recent challenges that is ongoing with respect to the switch from GCNet platform to UNIPASS platform is creating a lot of issues for petroleum lifting across depots in the country. The Executive Secretary, Mr. Duncan Amoah, in a media message to the Daily Graphic said that due to differences in the migration to the new custom system (UNIPASS), the Oil Marketing Companies together with Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies with order of supply of fuel to various outlets, failed in that mission as no single litre of fuel was loaded all day.
This occurred on Wednesday, 29th April 2020. In addition, the communique earlier issued by the National Petroleum Authority that indicated a quick response in resolving the issue to enable petroleum lifting from ports did not yield any result. This lead to Oil marketing Companies and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies to make alternative plans of their own in order to accommodate their drivers who has been dispatched across depots to load petroleum products.
Fuel Shortage Warning
The Executive Secretary Mr. Duncan Amoah went further to warn that if the situation remains unresolved within 24 hours, there will be fuel Shortages across the country. According to him, one would expect that the new system would have been rolled out gradually side by side with the old system in order to help facilitate a gradual phasing out of the existing system but instead, the seeming haste in abandoning the old system with the new system not fully ready and integrated; clearly this will lead to discrepancies but we wish for a speedy resolution in order to stop any possible fuel shortage across the country.
Furthermore, the Executive Secretary drew the attention of the Ministry about the cutting down in the number of staff by some oil companies due to the bad effects of the coronavirus on volumes and revenues. According to him, the government need to ensure that various oil and gas Companies are not left out in the announced small and medium enterprises support due to the fact that the three weeks lockdown lead to low volumes and low revenues and if care is not taken might lead to job losses and redundancy within the country. He urged the National Petroleum Authority to work out a mechanism to ease down the amount charged on license renewal. This is to enable companies adjust favorably to the vagaries of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses. This will also ensure that fuel prices remain low for consumers and there won’t be any increase in the pump price. He equally urged the Ghana Revenue Authority to extend to all oil companies a six month moratorium in order for them to file their returns instead of the initial 45 days given.
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