Business

More OMCs threaten layoffs over illegal trade

More workers are set to be laid off in the petroleum downstream sector as the illegal sale of petroleum products continue unabated. Already, the CEO of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyeman-Duah, has warned of some 4000 job losses in the next few months due to the development. The Association contends that, profits for its members continue to drop as they also face difficulty in repaying debts to banks and meeting the necessary tax obligations. The Managing Director of Hossana Oil, Konlan Nanleeb, who has been affected by the damning impact of the illegal sale of petroleum products, explained to Citi Business News plans to lay off more workers as his operations have become unprofitable. “We do not want to do these things, but at the end of the month, your margins cannot pay the workers so you have no option than to tell some of them to sit down and we are about to lay off more because we do not sell due to the illegal products,” he asserted. Mr. Konlan Nanleeb,  who owns at least seven fuel stations in Northern Ghana, also lamented how the low sales is making it difficult for him to stay relevant in the business. “Most of the stations don’t sell; a day, a while fuel station could close with sales between 300 and 1000 cedis. But you would be required to pay the SSNIT, salaries and utility bills at the end of the month,” he observed. At a media briefing on the issue on Tuesday, Mr. Agyeman-Duah warned that, the group will resort to other legal means should they not get a favourable response from government after the two-day ultimatum for them to get the issue resolved. Already, the NPA has shown interest in curbing the illicit business. But Konlan Nanleeb believes curtailing the situation should translate in economic growth as the petroleum sector will be more competitive. “We are appealing to government to have a second look into this…we should grow the petroleum sector than allowing this illegal practice to go on.”

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