A delegation from the Namibian Upper House of Parliament has visited the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to understudy how the Authority regulates Ghana’s petroleum downstream industry.
The members of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources were particularly to understand the petroleum downstream industry in Ghana, specifically areas where they can avoid and corruption in their emerging petroleum industry.
The delegation was led by the Vice-Chairman of the committee, Mr. Elder Filipe, with Mr. Mbangu Paulus, Mr. Nicodemus Motinga, Mr. Richard Gaoseb and Mr. Kennedy Haoseb as the other members.
Welcoming the delegation to the NPA on Wednesday, 26th July, 2023, the Chief Executive of the NPA, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said relations between Ghana and Namibia stretched back to the days of Namibian first President Dr. Samuel Shafiishuna Daniel Nujoma.
He, therefore, expressed excitement that the two countries – Ghana located in West Africa, and Namibia located on the Southwestern coast of Africa – were making moves to deepen relations by learning from each other to help the African course.
The NPA Boss said the Authority had, through the implementation of the Petroleum Product Marking Scheme (PPMS), succeeded in effectively monitoring and ensuring the quality of petroleum products along the supply and distribution chain.
It has also helped to curb fuel smuggling, ensured the payment of the right taxes, and availability of quality petroleum products on the market.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid indicated that NPA quality assurance officers visit depots and retail outlets regularly to check the marker concentration in petroleum products to establish whether the products meet the required specifications or not.
He said penalties are meted out to defaulting Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to discourage the practice and protect the interest of consumers.
Besides, Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the implementation of the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) Margin has ensured uniformity in the price of petroleum products across the country.
He said but for the UPPF, the five regions of the North and the Central Region, which are considered to be the poorest regions, would have been paying more for fuel, saying that “But for UPPF, the situation would have been precarious. “
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the use of the electronic cargo tracking system had ensured effective monitoring of the transportation of petroleum products across the country.
He said the system had made it possible for the NPA to verify the locations where bulk road vehicles claimed to have transported fuel to.
Touching on local content policy, the NPA Boss said the Authority was before Parliament to amend the NPA Act, 2005 (Act 691) to allow for the implementation of the local (Ghanaian) content policy in the petroleum downstream sector.
He said the policy seeks to restrict operations in the petroleum downstream industry to local players.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid, who is the President of the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA), said Ghana’s sulphur content standard of 50 parts per million (ppm) is the best in West Africa.
He said the goal of ARDA was to harmonize fuel specifications in the face of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In his remarks, Mr. Filipe lauded Ghana for its pacesetter role, recalling that Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, had been instrumental in the liberation of Namibia.
He said Namibia had discovered oil and expected to start production within the next three years.
Mr. Filipe said the delegation was, therefore, in the country to learn from Ghana’s experience and pitfalls “so that we can avoid that.”
He said the team wanted the issue of value addition to become part of the Namibian policy “so that we can start on the right track.”
Present at the meeting were a Deputy CE of NPA, Mr. Perry Okudzeto; Directors, and Heads of Department.
The Director of Policy Coordination, Dr. Sheila Addo; the Head of Economic Regulation, Mr. Abass Tasunti, and the Head of PPMS, Mr. SetsoI Agbenoto, gave presentations on the general operations of the Authority.