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The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has mapped out plans with the security agencies to clampdown on fuel smuggling activities on the borders along the Upper East region.

The Authority has partnered the security services to position some staff and security personnel at the smuggling hot spots to stop the menace.

Also, the partnership has introduced some tracking systems on vehicles carrying petroleum products to the BDCs as well as the points of discharge.

Incentives have also been introduced to the foreign petroleum transporters who send fuel to neighbouring Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger for easy take off of the products to discourage middlemen from smuggling the product.

Fuel smuggling has been one of the obstacles in the petroleum downstream of the supply chain in Ghana where both bulk distribution companies and consumers suffer in terms of pricing and demands.

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The Upper East Region which is bordered by these landlocked countries has been the target of fuel smugglers using the numerous unapproved routes to illegally transport the product, mostly in the night.

Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, initiated the measures to curb the pilfering.

The initiative has improved the sale of quality fuel supply in the region under the supervision of the regional NPA boss, Bashiru Natogma and the security services.

Mr. Natogma, during a media interaction told journalists a rapid response mechanism has also been adopted to eradicate the menace.

He reaffirmed the Authority’s mandate in ensuring consumers get quality petroleum products to ensure value for money.

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“My team, in partnership with the security agencies, have made fuel smuggling very difficult especially at the border towns because that’s where majority of the smuggling takes place.
“We are therefore sending a strong warning to all identified and those yet to be identified in the fuel smuggling business to stop or face the law. We are not leaving any stone unturned in the fight against fuel smuggling in the border towns and some defunct fuel stations,” Mr. Bashiru revealed.

Pindaa community in the Kassena Nankana municipality, Nakolo in the Kassena Nankana West district, Kulungugu in the Pusiga district, Nayagnia in the Kassena Nankana municipality, Bongo Soe in the Bongo district and some other border communities in the region are among the spots where these exercises are being carried out.

Mr. Bashiru Natogma urged the public to report to the NPA through its toll-free contact numbers, any illegal and unapproved activities at the fuel stations or the LPG refilling points. He also advised consumers who fall victim to cheating at the pumps to obtain receipts as evidence.

The Head of Planning at the NPA, Dominic Aboagye, briefed journalists on fuel supply and availability in Ghana. He assured the general public that, the NPA will ensure uninterrupted supply of quality petroleum products to Ghanaians and its clients in Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger.

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He touted Ghana’s petroleum products as the best in West Africa and one of the best in the world, because it competes well with that of Europe and oil producing countries.

By Mohammed Rabiu Tanko|UE/R|