The President would have to take immediate action to ensure all loopholes with regards to the smuggling of fuel are plugged, Ben Owusu, National Chairman of the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, has advised.
Mr Owusu’s appeal comes after the revelation by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that Ghana lost GHS850million in revenue in 2016 owing to tax evasion from the illegal importation of fuel, with the country projected to lose more than GHS1billion this year if the practice persists.
Reacting to the development on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Thursday May 4, Mr Owusu said combatting the “lucrative” fuel trafficking business would be on the same scale as fighting the “cocaine” trade, as it involved businessmen with the collusion of highly placed officials in the NPA, the Ministry of Energy, and the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
“So it is something the president should be concerned with and set up an independent committee to end this activity. But if we just talk and do not walk the talk, the problem will persist,” he told show host Chief Jerry Forson.
On the same programme, William Owuraku Aidoo, a Deputy Minister of Energy, assured that tracking techniques had been employed at the ports to tackle fuel smuggling by monitoring the movement of fuel tankers, fuel levels, among others.
But Mr Owusu said tracking was “just one aspect” of addressing the hydra-headed problem and even then feared that people tasked with such role could be compromised. He, therefore, urged the government to ensure “people with integrity” are handed such responsibilities to prevent further loss of revenue to the nation.