The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has cautioned operators of “table-top fuel stations” to desist from the illegal practice before the law catches up with them.
According to the authority, the practice is not only illegal but a recipe for disaster. The illegal trade is said to be rife in rural communities across the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of NPA,Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, who gave the warning noted that the safety of fuel from such illegal stations cannot be guaranteed because they are mostly found to be adulterated.
He, therefore, cautioned the public to boycott such fuel stations in order not to cause damage to their vehicles
Dr Abdul-Hamid said this when he interacted with journalists in Sunyani on Friday as part of a working visit to the Bono Region, to acquaint himself with firsthand information on activities of the sector.
The authority, he said, since its establishment had made incremental progress in perfecting the regulatory regime and framework to police the industry to meet international best practices and standards.
The industry which initially has about 20 oil marketing companies (OMCs), now had more than 200 including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), an indication of an exponential growth in the downstream petroleum sector, he said.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said in recent past the authority had worked hard to ensure high and quality standards through the introduction of the electric cargo tracking and the automatic tank gauging systems, among other interventions.
“It is the responsibility of the authority to regulate the industry and ensure petroleum products delivered to the final consumer are efficiently authenticated,” he said, adding that companies who fell short of the set minimum benchmark are sanctioned.
He called on the municipal and district assemblies to collaborate with the relevant institutions and regulatory bodies to ensure fuel filling stations were set up in a hazardous-free environment.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI