The Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC), has expressed his displeasure at the level of punishment meted out of fuel stations who were identified to have cheated customers in Accra.
According to him, the punishment was not detrimental enough, although the idea to enforce the law against them was laudable.
“We believe that indeed for an outlet that has adjusted pumps and is shortchanging Ghanaians for about GH¢400 cedis daily, and making profits of almost GH¢12,000 every month, and so if an outlet has done over 3-4 months of these and you go surcharging them GH¢5,000 and GH¢ 3,000 cedis, it is woefully inadequate to prevent them from coming back,” he said.
Fifty-seven oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the Greater Accra Region were sanctioned by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for engaging in various infractions detrimental to the interest of consumers.
They were fined a total of GH¢261,000 for serving customers with lower volumes of fuel, using non-approved GSA seals and breaking GSA seals meant to stop cheating at the pumps.
45 of the OMCs who served their customers less fuel than the customers purchased were fined GH¢5,000 each.
Ten of them who used pumps not verified by the GSA, were fined GH¢3,000 each while two OMCs who were found to have broken nozzles were fined GH¢3,000 each for that infraction.
According to Mr. Duncan Amoah, the Ghana Standards Authority must extend its checks to other regions of the country, saying the Chamber believes that some OMCs in other regions are also engaged in some infractions.
“We are quite happy that indeed finally the laws in Ghana would be seen to be working. We are happy that the GSA has been able to do this, although we would have wished that it was extended to all parts of the country. We believe that other fuel stations elsewhere in Ghana are engaged in some of these activities and they have to be brought to book,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Duncan Amoah urged the Ghana Standards Authority to step up its surveillance in the country, claiming that some OMCs tamper with their pumps to cheat customers after 5:00pm, when they are certain that officials of the GSA have closed and do not conduct checks on them.
He further called for the prosecution of individual station managers who flout the law to enrich themselves at the expense of customers.