Ghana loses about $200 million of tax revenue due to the smuggling of petroleum products and other nefarious activities in the petroleum sector every year.
Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Mr Alhassan Tampuli said those activities also cause the country to lose about $12 million from the unified petroleum price fund annually.
Describing the activities as lucrative, Mr Tampuli mentioned Takoradi port, Tema main Port, Prampram, Aflao and the eastern coastline as the unapproved offshore routes used for the smuggling.
“These nefarious activities of the petroleum service providers and some that are not even service providers, led to the country losing colossal $200 million per annum of tax revenue,” he said.
He indicated that some elements in the petroleum industry had made it their business to engage in despicable activities “which eventually leaves the country poorer.”
Mr Tampuli expressed concerns about the smuggling of subsidised products such as premix, marine gas and gasoline, as well as what he termed fraudulent freight claims from some transporters and siphoning of LPG from bulk vehicles into surface tanks.
He was speaking at the opening of the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhipCon) 2019 on the theme “Regional Collaboration: A Catalyst for Transformation”
GhipCon is Ghana’s foremost Petroleum Downstream Conference organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority in partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors and the Association of Oil Marketing Companies.
The three-day conference is designed to actively bring to the fore the operating industry’s perspective and guidance on issues of governmental and regulatory policy as well as best practices for the advancement of the industry, not only Ghana but across the West African sub-region and beyond.
Mr Tampuli also revealed poor quality products from some neighbouring countries are smuggled by road through unapproved entry points between Ghana and Togo and eventually end up at private tank yards, mining companies and other retail outlets.
Additionally, he said some players have been dumping gas oil declared for sale to foreign vessels at local filling stations while some of them have been engaging in under-declaration and non-declaration of products lifted at various depots.
“Over 300,000 metric tonnes of actual annual consumption was unreported last year, he said.
On the back of these, he said the GNPC in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Navy and the security agencies rolled out measures to tackle the problem head-on to save the nation from the loses.
“I believe it is time for petroleum players in the sub-region to engage in a dialogue and the issues that confront us and find common unique solutions for the advancement of our respective countries.