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Business News of Thursday, 25 June 2020

Source: thebftonline.com

OMCs to resist being ‘micromanaged’ by non-regulators

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) has said it will not allow any body other than the industry’s regulators to have oversight of their operations, saying such a move may cause damage to their machines.

This comes on the back of an announcement by the Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, that his outfit will be conducting pump verification nationwide to ascertain their effectiveness and efficiency.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the OMCs, Kwaku Agyeman Duah, such a step would only be welcome if the regulatory bodies – Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) – give such an approval, and accompany COPEC to the over-4,000 pumps of its members across the country.

“We are ever-ready to be checked, but you should know that these machines at the pumps are very expensive. We would want professionals who have the knowhow to touch them to verify their effectiveness and efficiency, and to ascertain that we are treating customers well. That is the reason why we trust the regulators more than any other body. The regulators have the right to train people to do this, and we trust them to be unbiased. We can’t trust any individual to come and do this and cause us more harm than good.

“We are the first to protect the customer and ensure that we are not only serving them the best quality of fuel, but also the right quantity. We are in competition among ourselves and we are protecting the brands we work with. The best way to grow in the sector is to take these two things very seriously, so we would not shy away from scrutiny, we love it; but we want the right professionals to do it to safeguard our investments, and we want the regulator to have a hand in this,” Mr. Agyeman Duah told the B&FT.

He added that due to sensitivity with safety protocols at fuel stations as a result of the highly flammable products they sell, only persons who are well-qualified are those who should be allowed to operate on equipment used to serve the public.

He further revealed that the OMCs and the GSA have agreed on a quarterly verification of the pumps to ensure that fuel stations across the country act responsibly and according to the nation’s standardisation laws. This arrangement, he said, OMCs are fully committed to.

“We welcome this call from the GSA; because just as sometimes people feel the machines shortchange the consumer, at other times it also shortchanges the OMCs. This quarterly inspection will ensure a fair playing field and also ensure that OMCs do the right thing,” Mr. Agyeman Duah said.

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