As a result of stringent regulatory measures, the retail outlet failure rate, which measures the percentage of fuel stations selling low-quality or adulterated products, has reduced drastically from 32 percent in 2013 to 2.51 percent as at August 2021, the Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has disclosed.
Among the key strategies the authority adopted to achieve the reduction are the revision of operating procedures in the importation, exportation, and production of fuels by Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs), and the introduction of the Petroleum Product Marking Scheme (PPMS) and Bulk Road Vehicle (BRV) tracking system to ensure that products are devoid of adulteration and meet the required specification along the supply chain.
“We are poised to wipe out these 2.51 percent culprits still cheating petroleum consumers. This is why we are here today, to tell consumers to report to the NPA anytime there is suspicion of the purchase of contaminated fuel. There are laws that provide punitive sanctions such as fines, imprisonment, or both for the perpetrators of these fuel quality crimes,” he said.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid was addressing stakeholders at this year’s Consumer Week Celebration, which was held under the theme “Adulterated fuels: A menace to the consumer and the economy”, at Ho in the Volta Region.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said petroleum service providers that indulge in fuel adulteration deprive consumers of value for money and also cause damage to the engines of vehicles and machinery. According to him, fuel adulteration increases emission of harmful compounds like carbon dioxide that affect air quality and the environment.
The effects, he added, affect the health of the workforce, harm the reputation of a fuel retailer’s brand, and cost government millions of cedis in revenue each year.
According to him, in a bid to tackle the problem of petroleum product adulteration, innovative strategies have been adopted, primarily aimed at improving upon the quality of petroleum products to ensure fuel supplied at final dispensing outlets is of the right quality specification to consumers.
The Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf urged consumers of petroleum products to desist from buying from tabletop sellers.
“To our drivers here who like to buy fuel from our tabletop dealers—what is known to be ‘gao-gao’ in this municipality—probably because it’s cheaper than what’s sold at the filling station, please note that you are rather damaging your car engines and you will spend more to fix your cars at the mechanic shop than buying the quality products from the fuel stations,” he cautioned.