Players and experts in the petroleum downstream industry are attesting to the sterling leadership at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). The glowing testimonies from CBOD’s Senyo Hosi and COPEC’s Duncan Amoah are matters of public record.
Those Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) playing by the rules and regulations of the industry are actually heaping praises on Hon. Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid. They have attested to the fact that things have started changing in the petroleum downstream industry. Those who are not playing by the rules are feeling the heat.
I have seen spurious social media posts emanating from an evil-motivated broadcast from the fugitive – Kevin Taylor. What is apparent in his broadcast is the crass ignorance and lack of understanding of the operations in the petroleum downstream work as well as the sheer arrogance with which he displays same on his discredited platform. Being loud and attacking the integrity of honest people does not repair your own deficiencies.
First of all, any allegation that the current Chief Executive of NPA, Dr. Abdul-Hamid, has ‘muted’ or hidden the list of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) operating in the country on the NPA website is absolutely false. The list of OMCs in Ghana are available on the website and not just the list, but their performance statistics, which the NPA produces periodically. It is interesting to note that the same performance report produced by the NPA is what this phony journalist used for his malicious broadcast. And without any shame, this funny guy fails to give credit to the Research Department of NPA for using their work for his mischievous broadcast. Industry players and researchers have consistently used these periodic performance reports for serious boardroom discussions and business strategies as well as for research purposes. Based on the same report, sanctions are exacted on PSPs that have breached industry regulations.
Again, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the only state institution mandated by law to collect taxes and levies. The National Petroleum Authority does not collect taxes and levies on behalf of the state. The statutory margins collected by the NPA are for specific industry operational purposes. For instance, the UPPF margin in the price build-up is used to pay for the transportation of petroleum products across the country, so that prices across the country are uniform. Without the UPPF margin, prices of petroleum products would have been higher in the regions farther away from the ports. Majority of our petroleum products are imported through Tema.
So to say that the NPA Boss is shielding some OMCs from paying taxes shows that the person making this frivolous allegation is clueless about what he is talking about. To demonstrate operations in the industry in more practical terms, when an OMC wants to load petroleum products, it places its order through NPA’s ERDMS software system, which immediately leads to GRA’s ICUMS software system. The GRA system would then check to confirm if an OMC is in good standing to load petroleum products.
This is is done automatically without any human interventions and when confirmed to be in good standing with GRA then that’s when the orders move to the next stages until the tankers are loaded with products. If an OMC is not confirmed to be in good standing then the orders are declined and cannot be loaded. So an OMC can only load when it is in good standing with both NPA and GRA because if an OMC is not in good standing with NPA they won’t have access to place orders.
So how can NPA shield any OMC from paying taxes? It is very characteristic of this hatchet guy, who is reputed for doing the bidding of the NDC and it’s communication outfit for a fee, to make such wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the GRA and NPA Bosses and accuse them of conniving to protect OMCs from paying taxes. I am very sure this guy is intoxicated by watching too many conspiracy movies.
And is it even true the GRA is not chasing defaulting OMCs for non payment of taxes? In the said malicious broadcast, this phony journalist actually admitted that the GRA has sued Apex Energy for non payment of taxes. So if GRA is using the court processes to recover taxes from defaulting OMCs, how can any reasonable and sane person accuse GRA of shielding the same OMCs from paying taxes? Again, just last month, the GRA issued a public notice to defaulting OMCs to pay their taxes or face prosecution and also have their names published in the newspapers. If this so-called journalist had spent small time researching news on credible platforms, he would have found this information available and for free. But he will not, he prefers to sit in America and publish lies about people with integrity for a fee.
Few days ago, the NPA Boss disclosed at a public event organized by TotalEnergies that 102 OMCs have been sanctioned for various breaches of the industry regulations. This information was widely published on many platforms but this loud guy did not find the information because he did not conduct any research. That 102 number is super majority (about two thirds) of the OMCs operating in the country. So Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid is not a person to shield any private company from paying taxes. Hon. Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid is a person of high integrity and public morality. He is known for upholding higher values and virtues in his public life.
On the wild allegation of owners of OMCs accumulating taxes and applying for new OMC licenses, it is instructive to note that since Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid assumed office as the new Chief Executive,not a single OMC license has been granted to any person. In fact, the Board of NPA was reconstituted not long ago and the Board subcommittees have just been formed. So that allegation is also baseless and without merit. It is a matter of public record that the NPA Boss has decried the high number of OMCs operating in the country. He has publicly said with such high number of OMCs, it makes regulating the industry challenging and he’s going to clean up the industry.
As of today, many OMCs risk losing their licenses by December 31st, 2021 if they fail to meet the requisite infrastructural requirements. Letters have been written and sent to these affected OMCs, and industry players and experts are aware about this directive by the NPA Boss. Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has galvanized the support of directors and staff at NPA to reduce the impunity in the industry, to the applause of industry watchers. There are OMCs that have been deactivated from the ERDMS and stopped from operating in the industry since October 2021 till date. I am not sure if this phony journalist is challenged because he is not in Ghana. But that excuse is untenable in this internet age.
And if he took journalism as a serious trade and has any care for Ghana, he would have done some research. Samson Ayenini has described this phony Kevin Taylor guy as not only “irrelevant” but also an “insulting ignoramus whose tabloid of jokes he does in the name of journalism”.
This is a perfect description of this fake journalist called Kevin Taylor, if I am to assess that impugned broadcast.
Patriot Faisal Ibrahim
Personal Assistant to Hon. Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid