GOIL Company Limited has rectified the issue of under-delivering of products at two of its fuel service stations in Accra.
A recent routine checks by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) revealed 10 fuel service stations in Greater Accra were under-delivering petroleum products from their pumps to customers, and consequently fined each of them 5,000 cedis.
Shell, Motorway Extension; Total, McCarthyHill; GOIL Mile 11; Frimps Oil, Tetegu junction; GOIL, Galilea; Frimps Oil, Spintex Road; Glory Oil, Spintex Road; Allied Oil, Sakaman; Shell, Amanfrom West and Goodness Energy, Kasoa were named by the GSA as the stations cheating customers.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) on Thursday embarked on a follow-up inspection to seven of the 10 affected fuel service stations to get firsthand information on the practice that is believed to be widespread across the country.
At the GOIL fuel stations at Mile 11 and Galilea, our correspondent Eben Agyekum-Boateng who was with the inspection team said the problem had been rectified.
“Their pumps are working well and dispensing the right amount of fuel above the minimum level,” our correspondent said.
Head of Fuel Marketing at GOIL, Marcus Darke, told the COPEC team that the issues identified by the Ghana Standards Authority at two of their fuel stations were not communicated to them, yet they acted with dispatch to rectify it once they got wind of it in the media.
“What GSA reported; that they have issues with two of our stations, and according to them, they verified and had a notice that the levels were below what is expected. That is the media report we have received. Officially, they have not notified us yet,” Mr Darke pointed out.
He said the GSA as part of their routine surveillance, “verify our pumps at least two, three times every year”.
“What they do is that, anytime there is any anomaly or shortcoming identified, they notify us and then we move in to rectify it. So it’s a normal thing to ensure that the right quantities are served to our customers,” he added.
Regulatory and Compliance Manager for GOIL Mrs Marian Fordjour debunked assertions that the two fuel service stations deliberately adjusted their pumps to cheat customers, and explained the issue is mostly caused by the wear and tear of the machines due to frequent use.
She indicated that there are even instances their pumps over-deliver fuels to customers due to such wear and tear.
She said immediately they got the information about the issue in the media, “we quickly moved to the places to check and indeed realised that about two pumps had issue and immediately we corrected it.
“As you’ve come here to see we’ve not cheated anyone. We are giving customers value for money,” Mrs Fordjour stated.
Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, underscored the need for the GSA to always communicate whatever issues they identify with the fuel service stations and give them a window of opportunity to correct them.
“One would have expected that the stations or the OMCS would have been briefed of the adverse findings made by the GSA against them and probably be given a window to clarify or sort those issues out,” he stated.
According to him, their checks did not show such an action was taken by the GSA.
“If it so happens you just put them out there, sometimes you create needless panic and we think some of these things should be done going forward,” he indicated.
For him, if the GSA finds issues with a station and gives it the opportunity to correct them but fails to do so, “at that point if the station would have to be closed down, it should be closed down completely”.
Meanwhile, when the team got to Frimps Oil at Tetegu junction, their pumps were dispensing below the minimum level, which was said to be an issue of pricing and quantity mechanism. Managers promised to resolve it.
At the Total fuel station at McCarthy Hill, the pumps were dispensing the right amount of fuel to customers.
The pumps at the Allied Oil at Sakaman were however dispensing fuel below the minimum requirement but managers promised to have the pumps fix by close of day, June 13.
Our correspondent reported that Goodness Energy at Kasoa did not have the 10 litre can which oil marketing companies are required by law to have at the dispensing floor.
The Shell at Amanfrom West did not also have the 10 litre can.
The 10 litre can is used to measure whether a station is dispensing the right quantity of fuel to customers. It has a 10 litre mark and a plus or minus 0.5 marks.
The right quantity must not be below the minimum limit which is the minus 0.5 mark.