General News of Sunday, 28 August 2016
The unauthorized trade of wayside fuel dealers in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, is posing a threat to life and property.
Under the National Petroleum authority Act, Act 691 of 2005, it is illegal to sell petroleum products without a license, but wayside fuel dealers in the Region are enjoying a high patronage from both commercial and private motorists.
Section 32 (1) states,’’ A person, other than a person licensed under this Act, shall not (a) sell or offer for sale a petroleum product, or (b) be in possession of a petroleum product in quantities unreasonably in excess of that person’s immediate requirement, or (c) receive a petroleum product for sale’’.
The provision does not apply to petty trading in kerosene.
This law is, however, being breached with impunity in Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti Region.
In 2014 the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) embarked on a three-day exercise to clamp down on the illegal sale of petroleum products.
That effort appears to have made little or no impact as sales points spring up again amidst complaints from residents that their lives are being endangered.
They say these stations do not adhere to safety measures and they are having a field day and no one is checking them.
One of the dealers at Ahinsan who spoke to Luv News acknowledges the practice is dangerous but says he doesn’t know it is illegal.
Regarding the question of where they get their supplies from, the illegal dealers have been tight-lipped about it and are reluctant to disclose who brings them fuel.
When Luv News contacted the Kumasi offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they said they are unaware of the existence of these unauthorized fuel stations.