Tanker drivers threaten strike over NPA frustrations

Business News of Thursday, 5 March 2015

Source: tv3network.com

Moses Asaga

The National Union of Tanker Drivers’ Association in Tema is unhappy with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) because members claim the regulator is not allowing the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) depots to function fully.

The Association says the Authority and Bulk Oil Distributors are allegedly transporting petroleum products directly to retailers.

But the NPA maintains the mandate of BOST is to store petroleum products.

The union workers at a news conference on Wednesday, March 4 said the NPA and the Bulk Oil Distribution companies have started transporting petroleum products to the regions themselves.

“Recent developments regarding the distribution of fuel across the country by the NPA, the Bulk Distribution companies and the oil marketing companies that is running their own transport services and hindering the idea of zonal loading and its operation at the BOST Depot nationwide.”

Currently, BOST has five fuel depots in the country.

The tanker drivers alleged the NPA has decided to change the zonal idea of the various bulk oil supply storage in the country.

The tanker drivers say the situation is affecting their business and is also a cost to the nation.

They have, thus, threatened to stop working if the trend is not reversed.

“A car will be parked for two months with no load. The load is there, but the depots are full. So we are not going. If Government doesn’t intervene, we are giving them one week, we won’t work,” they cautioned.

But the Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Moses Asaga, maintains that the role of BOST still remains the storage petroleum products.

“The mandate of BOST is supposed to be a strategic storage,” he told TV3.

“Now BOST have come in to say that the companies cannot lift their products from Tema to Kumasi especially the BDC’s. And the BDC’s are saying that we don’t have storage tanks in Kumasi and so allow our companies to be able to lift in Kumasi on a swap basis; which means that, if a BDC has a product in Tema, the BDC should have the right to ask its OMC or clients in the North and Kumasi to life from BOST. And this is what has been the stalemate,” he explained.