The CEO of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has said that the regulator will not hesitate to revoke the licences of industry players who flout the rules.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said this at a meeting with board members of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) at GIMPA.
The meeting was part of his stakeholder engagements, meant to open channels of dialogue for the smooth operation of the industry.
“We shall not hesitate to revoke the licences of industry players who continually flout the rules.
“Over the years, the NPA has been too lenient with people who flout the rules. And this has given opportunity to many people to flout these rules with impunity,” he said, adding that: “We cannot all be in a conspiracy to run down our country and yet turn round and blame government for what goes wrong.”
Dr Abdul-Hamid said illegal bunkering, third-party supplies and failure to pay taxes and levies due government are all gross violations of the law and henceforth, those found culpable will face the full sanctions as permitted by law.
The CEO of NPA told the oil marketers that it is in their own interest that the market is regulated properly. “Otherwise, when the industry collapses, your businesses will collapse with it,” he added.
The CEO whilst seeking the support of AOMCs in order to sanitise the industry assured them the authority will itself play by the rules and ensure an even playing field.
He said after 16 years of operation, the NPA Act (Act 691) will be reviewed to meet with current trends in the downstream petroleum industry.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said that in reviewing the NPA Act, the licensing and inspections regime will be looked at, to make sure that those who acquire OMC licences really have the capacity to operate in the industry.
He lamented the situation where many OMCs currently fall short of the requirements for holding their licences and said that soon, all such licences will be revoked.
The Chief Executive of the AOMCs, Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, appealed to the NPA to take steps to check the activities of some new entrants who are taking advantage of some loop holes in the sanctions regime to make quick money.