NPA Calls For Meeting With Tanker Drivers

Hassan Tampuli, NPA boss

THE NATIONAL Petroleum Authority (NPA) has asked to meet with the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union (GNPTDU) to help address certain concerns raised by the latter at a press conference on Monday.

The NPA made this known in a recent statement issued in Accra.

It was reacting to some five issues raised by GNPTDU, which requested that the NPA should approve the 86 gas filling station outlets which had their permits; and that the police harassment at check points and barriers instructed by NPA UPPF Coordinator, Samuel Asare–Bediako, should cease with immediate effect.

The tanker drivers also complained about the non-compliance of transit losses and refusal of the depot operators to abide by the 20 degrees Celsius loading temperatures; the non-compliance of the 2017 memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by stakeholders on drivers and mates condition of service; and benefit of Covid-19 fund to essential or frontline workers.

Requests for approval of 86 Gas stations

Reacting to this, the NPA said in a meeting with the Ministry of Energy in June 2018 it was directed to process applications of OMCs/LPGMCs that had lawfully constructed their refilling plants prior to Cabinet’s directive issued on October 12, 2017. “To date, 52 applications from the LPG marketing companies have since been processed to test run or operate their facilities. The ban on the grant of construction permits for new LPG refilling plants is however still in force,” it said.

Condition of 86 sites

A review of the documentation provided on 86 sites submitted indicated that only 11 of them had been granted construction permits prior to the directive in 2017. A total number of six out of the 11 had applied for authorization to operate their completed facilities but were yet to meet the NPA’s requirements.

Additionally, 17 out of the 86 sites had been granted “No Objection” permits (prior to 2017) to enable the applicants obtain the statutory permits to apply for construction permits. An inspection of 55 out of the 86 sites so far revealed that 34 sites had been developed and 21 sites undeveloped. Of the 34 developed sites, 23 did not have the NPA’s construction permit hence were constructed unlawfully.

Police harassment

On the alleged police harassments at check points, it said as part of its efforts to improve the distribution of petroleum products and data management, the NPA introduced the Enterprise Relational Database Management System (ERDMS), which generated fuel delivery forms that all drivers were required to be in possession of, during the haulage of petroleum products from depots to final delivery points.  It is the single most authentic form that confirms a product has been genuinely loaded from an authorized depot to a retail outlet.

Non-compliance to Oil Loss Control manual

The NPA said the blanket claimed by the tanker drivers that such requirements were not being complied with by the depots and OMCs was not wholly factual; adding that about 90% of the depots in the country were equipped with these specialized flow metres.

Tanker Drivers Remunerations

On this, it said the GNPTDU has not been cooperative with the mother union, GTPCWU, on this matter and has stalled the discussions. As a result of the standoff, the authority wrote to the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to intervene. The issue is currently before the Chief Labor Officer for a resolution.

Covid-19 Fund

“The NPA has no jurisdiction as to who in the petroleum industry receives Covid-19 funding. We believe that this is a matter the union should take up with their employers which in this respect are the tanker owners. While it is not our intention to engage stakeholders in the downstream industry in banter of words, we believe the appropriate media should be used to seek redress for whatever concerns they may have,” it said.

BY Samuel Boadi

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