General News of Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Source: The Herald
.He sets the cart before the horse
To say that Mr. Alexander Mensah Mould is not on top of issues at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) cannot be an understatement.
In a latest move which has exposed his naivety, the acting Chief Executive of NPA has decided to walk without learning first how to crawl with regards to strategies to deal with shortchanging of vehicle users and theft in the haulage and distribution of oil products.
Mr. Mould, without extensive and broad-based consultation within the petroleum oil sector, has decided to introduce ten-litre can at the various fuel stations for vehicle users to test whether they are given the right quantity of fuel they demand.
This has infuriated many industry players who insist that, that should have been done after proper steps are taken to deal with stealing of oil from the haulage trucks. Currently, large volumes of oil are stolen from the trucks through a lot of intrigues and overtures such as manipulation of flow metres. In one of such circumstances, a haulage tanker loaded with 13,500 litres oil from the Tema Oil Refinery reached the filling station in Accra with only 12,000 litres, meaning 1,500 litres of oil was stolen by the crooks and the proceeds pocketed.
In this distressing state of affairs, the only people who suffer are the oil dealers because they only have the option of accepting the stock.
Oil dealers who spoke with this paper last week lamented the lackadaisical and non-consultative approach the NPA under Alex Mould has adopted in handling the simmering explosive agitations in the petroleum sector.
One of them, stationed in the heart of Accra said in an interview that the appropriate higher authorities have to intervene to put sanity in the operations of NPA. “We definitely need some drastic action from the top. How can you introduce this ten-litre can without our (oil dealers) involvement? We are the major stakeholders and this cannot succeed without us,” he said.
A top officer of the Petroleum Retailers Association (PRA) told Ghana Daily over the weekend that if things continue to be handled the way they are being handled now, then the government of the day has a huge daunting task in attracting votes, “this is because most of our members are concerned that government is not protecting our interest.”
Owing to the agitations within the sector over the ten-litre can, the NPA Acting Chief Executive out of the blue summoned the oil dealers and oil marketing companies (OMCs) to a meeting on Thursday last week to discuss the modalities for the introduction of the bulk vehicle tracking device to monitor the haulage of oil from TOR to the pumping stations.
One of the attendees to the meeting told this paper though the meeting was too little too late, “it was worth trying though we were neglected.” He implored on the NPA leadership to involve the Ghana Standards Board in the whole discussion to develop a broad-based policy at the end of the day. Oil dealers in the country are being ripped off on daily basis by a cartel of oil marketing companies that has refused to pay them (dealers) their legitimate margins.
In flagrant disregard to the module of margins sharing developed by the NPA which requires that dealers get GHS 0.0461 on a litre of fuel sold, some of the OMCs have resorted to paying the dealers GHS0.0257, a short fall of 44.25%. The NPA directive, which took effect January 4, 2011, has been put in the dust bin and the office of Alex Mould is looking on sheepishly.
His office has blatantly refused to grant interview to this paper on the matter. Capitaline, a sister publication which reports on business and economy wrote to him three months ago requesting interview but he is yet to grant that. He did not even have the courtesy to reply the official letter respecting his office.
At a short gathering to bid farewell to former Managing Director of Total Petroleum Ghana Ltd, Mr Jonathan Molapo, Mr Alex Mould sounded nostalgic and hysterical when he stated that, “ I don’t think I will receive this kind of reception when am sacked”. Apparently, he was referring to the agitations against him with some calling for his dismissal for exhibiting uninspiring leadership.