Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Is The Importation Of Finished Petroleum Products Ghana's Biggest Create-Loot-And-Share Scam?

Shorn of all the complexity deliberately used in explaining industry  issues, simply put, what the so-called bulk oil distributors who  import finished petroleum products into Ghana, seek, is that taxpayers bear the risks involved in their business - whiles they pocket the vast profits they make importing dodgy products from companies like Trafigura: with abominable pasts and company cultures full of criminal conduct and total disregard for their fellow human beings.

 It might very well be that as  currently structured, the business of importing  finished petroleum products in bulk shipload parcels into Ghana, is the biggest create-loot-and-share scam, in Ghana's history, thus far. And it has powerful vested interests profiting handsomely from it.

 Who ever heard of traders importing goods into Ghana to sell for a profit, demanding that the government should reimburse them for foreign exchange losses incurred in their business?

As far as we can tell, no one in government forced the so-called bulk oil distributors into the business of importing finished petroleum products into Ghana - so why should those arch-dissemblers be treated any differently?

The question is: should we not end this pure nonsense on bamboo stilts - by merging the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR): so that they produce all the petroleum products Ghana needs?

The so-called bulk oil distributors can then buy them without incurring any foreign exchange losses - and we can then all be sure that the finished petroleum products sold at the forecourts of petrol filling stations across Ghana meet the highest international standards: and won't slowly destroy the engines of millions of vehicles across the country.

#OccupyGhana and other civil society groups that care about our nation ought to pay more attention to the scandalous demands being made on the government by the bulk oil distributors - and thoroughly scrutinise the figures involved in what now appears to be never-ending debt ballooning on a quarterly basis.

They must engage the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on the matter.

Those demands are outrageous and totally unacceptable. For all we know, we may be dealing with what could turn out to be a create, loot and share scam far bigger than all the dubious judgements paid out so far, combined -  including the Ghc51 million that Woyome was able to collect from the national treasury.

Those who say that the importation of finished petroleum products, as currently structured, is definitely the biggest create, loot and share scam going, may be right in what they say. Whatever the case might be, we must bring it to an end swiftly - and merging the GNPC and TOR holds the key to doing so successfully.

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