The Mandate is quite simple. In 2005, Parliament passed an Act 691 which mandated the National Petroleum Authority, (NPA), to regulate the downstream sector of the petroleum Industry. By downstream, we mean from when crude oil or petroleum products enter the shores of Ghana till it is discharged either to the Refinery or to another depot in the country, the distribution of the petroleum products that are refined or brought into the country .We also have the mandate to regulate every single Petroleum Service Provider (PSP) that provides its service in the Industry. By regulation, we mean we will License that PSPs to operate in the particular sector the license is given for. We’ll also set the standards and the rules and regulation by which that organization in that particular sector will operate. To do this, we have two divisions that is, the Inspectorate, Monitoring &Licensing (IML) division and the Pricing, Planning and Research (PPR).The Inspectorate division handles all the Licenses of all PSPs in ensuring that they abide by the rules and regulations of the industry.
The Standards that we’re talking about for example have to do with the quality of Petroleum products that are sold in the country which are the standards by which all the OMCs and the Refinery that produces these products and the Bulk Distribution Companies, (BDCs) that bring in the products, import the product to augment what the refinery can’t supply into the country. Those are the standards. We also regulate the standards the Oil Refinery should operate, the standards through which depots should be kept and operate, standards of how pipelines should operate and also standards by which OMCs should operate their retail stations which dispense fuel to the consumer.
We have a unit which receives complaints and once a complaint is received, we go to that particular station with the Ghana Standards Board, (GSB) which is mandated to actually do the measurement and quality test. NPA doesn’t have that mandate. The mandate we have is we will make sure that you abide by those standards; so we do work with GSB. We go out with them on numerous occasions. We also have inspections that we that we do. We have the random inspection and program inspections. For example, there are notices in the Dailies informing the various OMCs that as from Monday, Inspectors will be going to inspect the Eastern and Central Regions. The OMCs have a checklist by which they know we are coming to inspect them so they can do their own self compliances and self testing. What we do on the spot check is go round to make sure that one; the consumer is being dispensed with the right quality of petroleum product. By that, we mean every petro station is mandated to have a 10 litre measuring can .Whenever consumers believe they are being short changed, they should ask for the 10 litre can for an on the spot check to be done. It is the right of the consumer and by law, the OMCs are supposed to produce it. If they can’t produce the 10 litre can, or are refusing to do that test, the consumers can call the NPA.What we’re going to do this year is quite different from what we’ve been doing. We are going to put stickers around all the filling stations and dispensing pumps, telling the consumer of their right especially-the right to ask for the 10 litre-can when they believe they’ve been short changed. We also will have our numbers there and the hotline which will be a toll free line for anyone to call and the NPA will come to that station within some few minutes provided it is within our proximity. So that’s what we do on the Inspection. But I agree with you that we’ve had complaints about the quality, especially the people who buy the V Power and the deregulated products believe that they may be short changed in the quality .We also have complaints about the quality of Gas Oil, and people believe that they may be adulterated with kerosene and other products. These are some of the things we are going to clamp down.
Cylinder Recirculation Model
- Develop a market-driven structure to ensure safety, increased access and adoption of LPG.
- Enhance the capacity of existing regulatory institutions in order to meet the regulatory requirements of the new market structure.
- Ensure the existence of robust and standard Health, Safety and Environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG.
- Ensure the sustainability of supply under the new market structure
- Ensure local content and participation in the LPG sub sector in compliance to the Downstream Local Content Policy.
It is the responsibility of the LPG Marketing Companies (LMC) to ensure that the cylinders are in good condition before handing over to the end user. It is mandatory that all the bottling plants have a minimum maintenance facility to check for dents, leakages, replacement of valve, etc. This maintenance would be done on the full knowledge of the LPG Marketing Company.
There will be different sizes of cylinders to meet the needs of all income earners. The LMCs are expected to have different sizes of filled cylinder sizes such as 3kg and 6kg to cater for those who would want to purchase smaller quantities.
The new policy will be implemented together with the existing market structure until we gradually phase out the old market structure. The discussions surrounding the LPG promotion policy started in 2014. We will continue to engage the industry players.