The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) on Sunday called on the security agencies to ward-off unauthorized intruders of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) operational landscape ‘filling stations.
“OMCs have noted with concern the breach of the functions of National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) the legally mandated bodies charged with the responsibility of inspecting or auditing petroleum products and filling stations for compliance.
“It is unfortunate and unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue as it creates security concerns and endangers the consumers’ safety at the Filing Stations, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMC Chief Executive Officer told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.
“We must caution that the filling stations are confined spaces for safety reasons, therefore besides quickly buying fuel or patronizing any of the other related services, one should not trespass unless one has been legally mandated to perform certain functions at the stations.
“We would like to assure the general public that OMCs/LPGMCs will continue to pursue and uphold consumers’ interests and will always be at their service” he said.
Mr Agyemang-Duah who is also the AOMC Industry Coordinator noted: “We must state unequivocally that, OMC have over the years cooperated with and will continue to cooperate with all the regulatory agencies and duly mandated groups to enhance compliance and improvement of industry standards.
“For instance, we have cooperated with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) as it currently inspects our fuel dispensing pumps every six months.
“Additionally, we have cooperated with the inspectors of the National Petroleum Authority as they regularly inspect our stations for general compliance including; fuel dispensing pumps delivery levels”.
He said “OMCs have provided 10-litre measuring cans at filling stations to enable our cherished consumers who may want to confirm the fuel dispensers delivery levels to do so and where they are dissatisfied.
“Consumers also have the opportunity to report discrepancy at any filling station to the AOMC, GSA or NPA to check if indeed they are right for appropriate action to be taken by the regulators against the operator involved”.
Mr Agyemang-Duah noted that where OMC is found to have breached the law, AOMC has at all times supported these regulatory agencies to make that particular oil marketing company face the full rigors of the law.
He said for the avoidance of doubt, it is important to remind the general public about the existing legal regime governing the entities mandated to perform such tasks.
The AOMC Industry Coordinator explained that per NPA Act 2005, 691 Section 2(2), the NPA is mandated to: protect the interest of consumers and Petroleum Service Providers.
The NPA is also obliged to monitor standards of performance and quality of the provision of petroleum service; initiate and conduct investigation into standards of quantity of petroleum products offered to consumer.
He said the NPA was also authorized to investigate on a regular basis the operations of Petroleum Service Providers to ensure conformity with best practices and protocols in the downstream industry.
He revealed that the Ghana Standards Authority is also mandated to handle all issues related to weights and measures. “These issues include; checking the accurate measurement of fuel dispensing pumps”.
Mr Agyemang-Duah noted that based on the law, and as a demonstration of commitment to consumer protection, the AOMC has agreed with the GSA to begin a quarterly verification of fuel and gas dispensing pumps and accessories from January 2021, instead of the current half-yearly inspection.
“We would therefore like to reiterate that any group or entity wanting to assure itself of the pump delivery accuracy at any fuel station should engage the relevant regulators to collaborate and ensure that the requisite Health, Environment, Safety, Security and Quality (HESSQ) protocols are complied with.”