General News of Thursday, 10 January 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Long Queues At Bolga Filling Stations

Long queues continue to mount at fuel stations in Bolgatanga and its environs in the Upper East Region despite an assurance by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that there would be enough supply of fuel in the region.

A visit by BUSINESS & CITY GUIDE to Bolga yesterday revealed long queues at fuel stations in the town with the exception of the Total and Nasona fuel stations.

Between December 31, 2012 and January 2, 2013, residents struggled to gain fuel in Bolgatanga, as the fuel stations displayed ‘no fuel’ signposts.

In line with that, drivers and motor riders formed long queues at few stations that had petrol.

However, black market petrol dealers otherwise known as ‘Kalabule’ took advantage of the situation to make profits.

Motorists, who did not want to waste their time due to long queues at fuel stations, turned to the black market dealers to fuel their tanks at a higher cost.

In Bolgatanga and other communities like Paga, Navrongo and Bawku, some “greedy” fuel station owners and managers deliberately hoarded the product in anticipation of increases in prices so as to maximize profit.

While they create this artificial shortage, they supply fuel in large quantities to the ‘kalabule’ dealers ahead of time so as to maximize profit.

Many residents and users of the product say the ‘Kalabule’ petrol dealers were served as soon as they get to the stations with their ‘Kufuor gallons’ to the disadvantage of people.

The situation affected proceedings at some public offices and some workers had to leave their offices and form queues at the fuel stattions.

During a similar crisis in March 2009, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mark Owen Woyongo described the development as a deliberate attempt by some fuel station owners and managers to sabotage government’s plans to fulfill its campaign promise of reducing the prices.

The minister and REGSEC abandoned the policy, which intensified the buying of petrol in large gallons and smuggling.

‘Kalabule’ trading has intensified and more petrol stations have sprung up close to the Ghana-Burkina-Faso border including Paga and Kulungungu to aid smuggling of petrol from Ghana to Burkina-Faso.