The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC-GH) has criticised authorities in the country for hiding behind the cost of importation of quality fuels as justification for the importation of “dirty diesel”.
The chamber suggests that the excuse of costs was not valid since quality fuels in advanced countries are sold for even cheaper prices than the price of fuels currently sold on the Ghanaian market.
“These high-polluting diesel products are currently sold to the unsuspecting public for almost 50 per cent additional cost to what some of the countries who adopt high standards or quality grade fuels charge their people,” Executive Secretary for COPEC-GH, Duncan Amoah pointed out in a press release on Sunday September 18.
Even though there have been concerns about the importation of toxic fuels into the country, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) maintains that the imported fuels meet Ghana’s standards and if consumers are willing to pay more for premium fuels, such fuels can be made available.
“If we want high quality fuel then we need to pay more…the thing is a price issue”, CEO of NPA Moses Asaga told Joy FM in an interview on Friday, September 16, 2016.
He was responding to findings from a three-year research project by Swiss NGO Public Eye, which revealed that importation of extremely harmful diesel into the country was on the rise.
According to the Public Eye report, which cited African nations as being the most receivers of these dangerous fuels, major European oil companies and commodity traders were exploiting Ghana’s particularly weak fuel standards to export the high-polluting fuels that they could never sell at the pumps in Europe.
Gian Valentino Viradez, Project Manager in charge of Development Policy at Public Eye, who presented the report at a forum in Accra on Thursday September 15, said such fuels had damaging effects on the health of Ghanaians.
According to Mr Amoah, based on current global petrol pricing index figures, fuel was $0.75/litre in Canada, $0.64/litre in USA, $0.65/litre in Kenya and $0.92/litre in Ghana.
“Countries serving or dispensing standard fuels to their people are not charging anything above what Ghana charges its people. On the contrary, the Ghanaian system is charging very high for these apparent low-grade diesel products that will not be entertained anywhere in any of the civilised countries that put human safety and preservation of engines and the environment above other profits,” Mr Amoah added.
He explained that engines in African countries importing these ‘dirty fuels’ were 300 times more likely to break down relative to those in civilised nations that use approved fuels.
Source : http://classfmonline.com/1.9883072