The Executive Secretary of the Tanker Owners Union, Ignatius Koku Doe, has raised concerns over the influx of tanker trucks owned by Chinese companies. According to him, their checks have revealed that about 300 tanker trucks have so far been imported into the country.
In a story we carried on Friday, last week, Mr. Doe alleged that, the Union had informed the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), which is the regulatory body, but no concrete step had been taken so far.
“We discovered these tankers have been allegedly brought in by Sentuo Refinery, which is about to start the production of oil and gas. Already, the Union members own about 5,000 trucks, and bringing in new ones to do the same job as ours will only create unhealthy competition,” he lamented in an interview he granted Adom FM.
Mr. Doe appealed to the government to intervene in the issue, warning that if the regulatory body failed to act, they would take matters into their own hands and resist the operation of these foreign tankers.
Though the reported importation of 300 tanker trucks into the country by the foreigners, as alleged by the Tanker Owners Union, is an investment that must be applauded, The Chronicle still thinks the issue is dicey and must, therefore, be reviewed.
The promise made when Ghana started production of crude oil in commercial quantities was that the downstream sector would be handled by Ghanaians only. The local content and local participation policy and legislation in Ghana’s oil and gas industry has not been strictly implemented.
Though Ghanaians are happy about the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, it is important that the government ensures that the discovery contributes significantly to the growth of the economy and helps accelerate development and industrialisation.
The tanker owners, therefore, have every right to protest against the alleged invasion of the sector by foreigners.
According to the Union, even all the branded oil tankers roaming our roads are owned by individual Ghanaians and not the foreign-owned Oil Marketing Companies. If this is indeed the case, why then should we license the foreign-owned oil tankers to operate in the country now? The development doesn’t make sense to The Chronicle, and we call on the NPA, the regulator of the sector, to intervene.
Investors who are coming to invest in the country will, at the end of the day, repatriate their profits back to their country of origin, but the profits made by local investors will stay in the economy.
This is the reason why we must always protect the indigenous businesses instead of opening the floodgates for these so-called foreign investors to kick them out of business. We hope the authorities concerned are reading and will act appropriately in the interest of the country.