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Regional News Fri, 3 Mar 2006

NPA revokes licence of oil service station, lifting company

Accra, March 3, GNA - The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has taken a number of measures to halt the use of premix fuel for use in vehicles in the country.

Addressing the media in Accra on Friday, Mr J. D. Attafuah, Chief Executive of the NPA, said following a tip off to the national security authorities the NPA had revoked the licence of Havilah Oil Service Station at Awoshie in Accra. The station would remain closed until investigations are completed.

Explaining the rationale for the action, Mr Attafuah said a bulk road haulage vehicle with registration number ER 1385 C, belonging to Jakwamac Enterprise, loaded with premix fuel earmarked for the Yeji Fishermen's Association at Yeji, in the Brong Ahafo Region, was diverted on February 13 2006 and dumped at the Havilah Oil Service Station at Awoshie to be adulterated and sold as gasoline to motorists.

He said investigations conducted into the matter indicated that the premix fuel was actually dumped at the retail station at Awoshie and that the invoice on the product was forged and it bore the name of Allied Oil Company Limited, a different oil marketing company. The Chief Executive said records at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) indicated that Allied Oil Company had never lifted premix fuel since its inception as an OMC, and it was, therefore, surprising that its invoice was used in the shady deal.

The station that is under the sponsorship of Havilah Oil Company Limited, a duly registered and licensed OMC rather bought the product from another OMC, Oando Ghana Limited.

Premix fuel is a special product - 29 parts of gasoline mixed with one part engine oil- used by two-stroke engines such as outboard motors that fishermen use to propel their canoes.

Government as an incentive to the fishing industry heavily subsidizes the product. But because of the price differential between premix fuel and gasoline, the product is easily diverted to retail outlets to be mixed with gasoline for the unsuspecting motoring public. Mr Attafuah said the NPA took a very serious view of the incident and that besides depriving the fishing community of vital input, it also had adverse effects on their businesses.

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In the light of the ongoing investigations, measures have been taken against the dealer, the vehicle, the transporters, the sealer at TOR and the driver involved in the case.

The vehicle used in the diversion of the product has been banned from lifting petroleum products from TOR or any of the depots or refinery in the country.

Furthermore, Jakwamac Enterprise has been banned from lifting products at TOR until such a time that it regularizes and obtains the requisite licence from the NPA.

The Allied Oil Sealer at TOR, Mr Kwasi Adjei Agyemang has been rusticated and barred from entering the premises of the refinery and the driver of the of the bulk road vehicle (BRV), Mr Jacob Nartoko has also been barred from driving any BRV for carrying petroleum products in the country.

Mr Attafuah said the measures were taken without prejudice to ongoing investigations by the security agencies and assured the public that once investigations were completed, those found to be criminally liable, would be made to face the law as stipulated in the NPA Act.

Source: GNA
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