Fuel stations in Ghana are threatening to lay off up to 4000 workers very soon due to the continuous fall in their sales across the country.
Head of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) revealed in an interview with Adomonline.com that his members would have to travel that path in the near future because their sales have declined enormously in recent times.
Some stations in the northern part of the country, he hinted have already started laying off the workers. He said this is attributable to the increasing activities of black market fuel dealers in the country.
“The implication of this black market on the OMC is that we can’t meet over big overheads and if this continue, then we would have no option than to lay people off…our overheads are big so if we don’t make the volumes as it is now when some people are even making one-tenth of the volumes, we have no choice than to lay people off…,” he said.
He explained that unscrupulous and irresponsible Ghanaians and foreigners have entered into the petroleum sector (Petroleum Black Market dealers) whose operations are inimical to the economy.
He said investigations have established that the Petroleum Black Market dealers engage in some illegal oil ships deal on the high seas in order to avoid the payment of taxes whilst others claims to be exporting the products to the land locked countries only to divert and sell the products locally.
According to the tax regulations, petroleum products being exported to the land lock countries does not attract taxes from Ghana.
Some truck drivers have taken advantage of this policy and go to the yard to load fuel with foreign number plates; after invading the taxes and diverting the products sells it cheaply in “yellow gallons,” at vantage points and also on table tops.
Some of the trucks allegedly sell the product to some filing stations as well.
The occurrence, the AOMC Boss said is accounting for the losses that his outfit is suffering which would eventually lead to the laying off of workers.
The government, he revealed also lost revenue in excess of $500 million in 2016 through the illegal activities of Petroleum Black Market dealers.
“Not only is government losing tax revenue, scores of OMCs are also losing out as a result of sale of cheap products in the market and we are at the point of declaring employees redundant.
“The motoring public is also endangered for patronizing these ‘yellow gallon’ fuel as its quality cannot be guaranteed…operators do not also observe environment and safety measures, you buy cheap fuel at the peril of your life,” he said.