If You Want Clean Fuel, Pay More NPA

Even though there have been concerns about the importation of toxic fuels into the country, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) maintains that the imported fuels meet Ghana’s standards.

According to the CEO of NPA, Moses Asaga, the country has a level 3000ppm of Sulphur content in diesels on the market but in Europe the level permitted is 50ppm.

If consumers in Ghana, therefore, want diesel with a high quality that contains less amount of Sulphur, then consumers will have to pay a higher price for such fuels.

He was responding to findings from a three-year research project by Swiss NGO Public Eye, which revealed that importation of extremely harmful diesel into the country was on the rise.

According to the Public Eye report, which cited African nations as being the most receivers of these dangerous fuels, major European oil companies and commodity traders were exploiting Ghana’s particularly weak fuel standards to export the high-polluting fuels that they could never sell at the pumps in Europe.

Gian Valentino Viradez, Project Manager in charge of Development Policy at Public Eye, who presented the report at a forum in Accra on Thursday September 15, said the practice had damaging effects.

According to him, these fuels contain “nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, and all kinds of pollutants that are known to be very bad for health”.

Mr Viradez added: “They cause chronic diseases and many other conditions such as lung cancer and this has to be taken seriously. We believe Africans have the right to know what they are consuming when they go to the pumps.”

However, Mr Asaga maintains that if consumers are willing to pay for premium fuels, such fuels can be imported but what is available on the market is permissible within the standards of the country.

"If we want high quality fuel then we need to pay more… the thing is a price issue", he told Joy FM in an interview on Friday, September 16, 2016.