The National Petroleum Authority(NPA), has made known its intent to convene a meeting with the Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union to deliberate on the concerns raised by the union.
According to the Tanker Drivers Union, the NPA has not attended to their grievances and as a result has called on the President to dismiss the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.
In a statement by the NPA, it debunked all the grievances by the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers, saying, “their concerns are neither here nor there” adding that the Tanker Drivers Union have no case.
According to the NPA, whilst it is not its intention to engage stakeholders in a banter of words, it believes the appropriate media should be used to seek redress.
The five concerns raised by the Tanker Drivers Union are the need for the NPA to approve the 86 Gas Filling Station outlets, alleged Police harassments at check points, non-compliance to Oil Loss Control manual, Tanker Drivers’ remunerations and the issue of Covid-19 Fund.
The statement with regards to the covid-19 funds indicated that, it has no jurisdiction as to the exact recipients of covid-19 funding in the petroleum industry. The authority said it believes that this is a matter the union should take up with their employers which in this respect are the Tanker Owners.
On the issue of the request to approve 86 Gas Filling Stations, the NPA also noted that, 17 out of the 86 sites had been granted “No Objection” permits prior to 2017 to enable the applicants obtain the statutory permits to apply for construction permits.
The statement further went on to say that, an inspection of 55 out of the 86 sites has so far revealed that 34 sites had been developed and 21 sites undeveloped. Of the 34 developed sites, 23 did not have the NPA’s construction permit hence were constructed unlawfully.
The NPA emphasized that it is worth noting that four subsequent meetings have taken place with the union with the last meeting scheduled to take place on the 14th October, 2020 but called off due to the absence of the Gas Tanker Drivers Association.
Touching on Tanker Drivers Remunerations, the NPA said the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) of TUC has not been cooperative since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
“The GNPTDU has not been cooperative with the mother Union, GTPCWU on this matter, and has stalled the discussions. As a result of the standoff, the Authority wrote to the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to intervene. The issue is currently before the Chief Labor Officer for a resolution.”
On the alleged Police harassments at check points, the statement said that, any driver who is in possession of the Fuel Delivery Form cannot be harassed by any police officer.
“It is therefore surprising for the union to accuse the NPA and for that matter Samuel Asare – Bediako of instructing the police to harass tanker drivers in transit. The Security and Intelligence Unit of the NPA upon receipt of intel on this alleged harassment engaged the concerned Regional Police Commanders on this matter.”
It added that the Gas Tanker Drivers have also been provided with telephone contacts to call in case they face any form of harassment from the police.
The statement further said that, with regards to the non-compliance to oil loss Control manual, the NPA on 6th November, 2019 issued a revised version of the Petroleum Products Loading, Transportation, Unloading and Loss Control Manual otherwise known as Oil Loss Control Manual, which was developed with the active involvement of multi stakeholders.