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OMCs to introduce sanctions against cheating fuel stations

Oil marketing companies in the country are set to come up with harsh and stiffer sanctions against their members found to be cheating their customers at the pumps.

The decision to introduce a sanction regime comes on the back of revelation by the Ghana Standards Authority that some fuel stations were under-delivering products to customers in the Greater Accra, Central and Eastern Regions.

The Shell fuel station at the Motorway extension; Total at McCarthyHill in Accra; GOIL at Mile 11; Frimps Oil at Tetegu junction; GOIL at Galilea; and Frimps Oil on Spintex Road were found to be under-delivering fuel.

The rest were Glory Oil on the Spintex Road; Allied Oil at Sakaman; Shell at Amanfrom West and Goodness Energy at Kasoa.

Two other companies, Galaxy Oil and Agapet, both on the Spintex Road were found to have broken the GSA seal without permission.

According to the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, it currently does not have any sanction regime for its members who violate the criteria for selling fuel at the various fuel filling stations.

Commenting on the issue on Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Thursday, Chairman of the Association, Johnny Blagogee, admitted that some of their members are involved in illegalities.

“We are aware that some of them are cheating, but it’s not common so we have told our members to use the standard litres [gallon] provided by the GSA”, he explained.

He said the association advices its members to check their nozzles once every week whether it is working.

“We do peer-review where we visit some fuel stations to ascertain whether or not their nozzles are working effectively,” he said.

Sanctions

Mr Blagogee said because they don’t have sanction regime, usually that of the National Petroleum Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority’s sanctions always apply in such breaches.

“We don’t have any sanctions for now. We always encourage them to live up to the standard but we shall come out with sanctions due to this. We want the laws to work. They should make sure the laws work” he noted.

Director of Corporate Communication at the Ghana Standards Authority, Dr. Kofi Amponsah Bediako,  not all the branches of these OMCs are engaged in such illegality, noting “it’s only a section of them. You know they have branches all over the country, but not all of them are doing it”.

He advised customers to always be vigilant when purchasing fuel and also look out for the GSA green stickers that are pasted on the pumping machines.

“Be vigilant on the machines. That will help you detect whether you are being cheated. It should start from 0: 00” he advised.

Outright closure of these branches

Dr. Amponsah-Bediako said “we fine them 5, 000 cedis for each faulty nozzle”.

“We can’t determine the number of years they have done it so we will continue storming their stations. The law does not allow us to charge them more than 5,000 because we are being guided by the laws of Ghana” he explained.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo| 3news.com|Ghana

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