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NPA sends SOS to govt to settle debts

npaThe National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has called on the President and other authorities to intervene in the settlement of validated debts owed the bulk oil distribution companies (BDCs) to avert shortage of petroleum products in the next few weeks.

A letter to that effect, dated April 20, 2015, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, said although the government had directed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to settle the authenticated claims, that directive was yet to be adhered to.

The letter, signed by the Chief Executive of the NPA, Mr Moses Asaga, and addressed to the Minister of Petroleum, was copied to the President, the Vice-President, the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Finance.

Others who were copied are the Governor of the BoG, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors and the members of the Ministerial Forex Committee.

Agreed issues

The letter referred to a meeting held at the Flagstaff House on February 4, 2015 and chaired by the Vice-President in respect of foreign exchange losses claim in the petroleum industry,  during which some issues were agreed on.

Among the issues agreed on, it said, was the government accepting liability for the foreign exchange losses.

While attributing the losses to the depreciation of the cedi, it said, “The government directed the Bank of Ghana to use its dividends to settle the validated forex loss claims.”

No payment

“In line with the above decisions, we respectfully wish to draw your attention to the fact that no payment has been made till date.

“The delay in the payment of the above has led to serious challenges in the industry,” the letter added.

The challenges, it said, included the unwillingness of commercial banks to finance BDCs’ petroleum imports on account of severe financial challenges, liquidity constraints and loss of confidence in the industry, oil banks pulling out of trade financing and the inability of the BDCs to confirm scheduled petroleum product imports.

Address challenges

“We wish to advise that the above challenges (if not addressed soon) will result in a shortage of petroleum products in the next few weeks.

“In view of the above, we wish to seek your urgent intervention to help liaise with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana to take immediate steps to settle the outstanding validated forex loss claims,” the letter added.

Government’s indebtedness

An amount of $215 million has been validated by the international firm, Ernst & Young, as money the government owes the BDCs.

It signifies outstanding foreign exchange losses for 2013, which came about as a result of the depreciation of the cedi.

Source: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/42809-npa-sends-sos-to-govt-to-settle-debts.html#sthash.tyvM7rhR.dpuf

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