NPA staff and journalists
THE NATIONAL Petroleum Authority (NPA) will from the first quarter of 2024 have the mandate to prosecute industry players who flout the laws and regulations under the National Petroleum Authority Act 2005 (ACT 691).
Offences that would be prosecuted include engaging in activities in the downstream industry without licensces, misapplication of prescribed petroleum pricing formula, false statements and recording of information, obstruction or interference with the work of the officers and employees of the Authority.
Others are violation of petroleum product marketing regulation and Bulk Road vehicle (BRV) tracking and volume monitoring regulations.
Ms. Farida Ali-Musah, Manager, Legal Affairs at NPA disclosed this at a media engagement with some selected media houses in Kumasi last Monday.
She stated that with the passage of the Executive Instrument 378 (LI 378), under the NPA Act 2005, the Authority now has the power to prosecute offenders of its regulations by itself.
According to her, initially they had no powers to prosecute criminals and had to rely on agencies such as the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General Department to prosecute on their behalf.
She disclosed that, while the sector continued to grow, the regulatory ambit remained static, with overreaching laws inadequate to significantly keep it abreast with the changing nature of the industry, especially the conduct of some industry players who engaged in criminal activities.
“Because of the limited times of the police and the Attorney General, there were some cases that were not dealt with and there were some cases that we sent to court but they were thrown out for want of prosecution, and the offenders or suspects went unpunished, and there were others that the court would give them some small punishment, fines which were not enough to serve as deterrent to others,” she said.
FROM David Afum, Kumasi