The Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, revealed that Ghana lost about GH¢850 million in just one year as a result of the illegal fuel trade.
The sale of contaminated fuel demands a stronger political will and more resources to tackle it than the fight against illegal mining.
This is because the illegalities in the sale of contaminated fuel are more costly than illegal mining which is often referred to as galamsey.
Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, revealed that Ghana lost about GH¢850 million in just one year as a result of the illegal fuel trade.
“There is a greater problem downstream and those down here are very much aware of the challenges, yet when you talk to some NPA officials, some will tell you they will need the backing of the president with the military to be able to destroy those illegal makeshift facilities where our fuel is mixed and contaminated daily.”
“If you compare the fuel mafia currently, it is bigger than the galamsey operators. In one year, Ghana lost $850m to these operators of which Zup Oil is part and other illegal operators dotted across the Kpone area. These facilities exist physically,” he added.
The Ghanaian media launched a massive campaign against galamsey which most people thought was the biggest threat to lives and environment in Ghana.
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The President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu gave their full support for the fight against the menace.
However, Duncan Amoah said much more resources and a greater commitment is needed to address the illegal fuel trade.
He added that the security agencies seem powerless because some powerful state actors are behind the illegal fuel trade in the country.
“Security agencies are unable to deal with them effectively because you will go on and a bigger person from somewhere will call and say you should leave.”
He added that they suspect some industry insiders at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) deliberately caused the contamination of the 5 million litres of fuel.
“…In BOST arriving at 5 million litres contaminated, how it got contaminated, some of us suspect strongly that there were insider hands who were looking to give business to outsiders.”