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Sunday, May 22, 2022

NPA Disputes Ato Forson’s Allegations

Dr. Mustapha Hamid, NPA boss

THE NATIONAL Petroleum Authority (NPA) has rejected allegations by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson that the authority is acting with impunity and engaging in illegality.

According to Dr. Forson, the NPA was illegally receiving revenues from the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF), Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) and Fuel Marking Margins.

However, a statement issued by the NPA on Thursday, said “Its mandate to collect, charge or receive revenue with respect to the UPPF, BOST and Fuel Marking Margins is derived from the National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula), Regulations 2012, Legislative Instrument (LI) 2186, passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana in July 2012.”

The statement clarified that in accordance with LI 2186, the UPPF, BOST and Fuel Marking Margins were distribution margins, noting that

“The UPPF Margin is a margin incorporated in the price buildup of petroleum products to compensate transporters who move petroleum products from the depots to the retail outlets across the country and to ensure that we have equal pricing of petroleum products in the country irrespective of the geographical location.”

It continued that the BOST Margin was a margin incorporated in the build-up of petroleum prices used to cover the cost of maintenance and operations of BOST depots across the nation and also to undertake its expansion programmes of the depots, hence the collection of the margin by BOST Co. Limited and not the NPA.

The statement further said the Fuel Marking Margin was also a margin incorporated into the price build-up of petroleum products to pay for the marking of the products to prevent tax revenue loss, smuggling and adulteration of petroleum products.

“We wish to emphasise that these margins are purely based on the cost of undertaking the prescribed activities and not for any other reason.

“These margins were not just increased in 2021 but have been increased periodically since 2009 to this present time, due in part to the increases in the cost of operations in these activities over the time,” the NPA noted.

It stated that regulations 9 to 13 of the LI 2186 determined how to review the prescribed petroleum pricing formula, which stated that the pricing formula should include such margins while the authority indicated margins to take care of the above intended costs accordingly.

It therefore said “It is without doubt that the absence of these margins in the price buildup would have hindered the achievement of the objectives for which these margins were introduced into the prescribed petroleum pricing formula. For example, uniform pricing of petroleum products did not exist until the introduction of the UPPF Margin in the 1990s.

“We therefore wish to state emphatically that NPA is acting legally as specified in the Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula Regulations 2012, LI 2186 and that the UPPF, BOST and Fuel Marking Margins charged in the price buildup are not illegal charges as asserted by Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.”

BY Vincent Kubi

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