The Ghana Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, (COPEC), has emphatically denounced claims of using illegitimate means to gain the powers of regulatory agencies within the petroleum sector as a result of its Fuel Quantity Checks exercise.
According to the group, “like all other legally registered Civil Society Organization which has for the past six (6) years contributed very significantly to relevant policy, public and educational discussions on improving efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Downstream Petroleum Sector of Ghana is expected by its stakeholders and the public to provide the comforts of consumer protection and education”.
The coordinator for the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) in a statement last week challenged the exercise being conducted by COPEC.
In a rebuttal, COPEC was of the opinion that it has helped in improving the basic standards of Ghana’s petroleum downstream sector.
They said, “COPEC does NOT in any way, need to usurp the functions and responsibilities of these regulatory bodies in order to carry out verification of complaints from our major stakeholders including the GPRTU and other private citizens.
“Contrary to the impression that was sought to be created by the coordinator of AOMCs in his release last week, this is evidenced by the numerous reports and complaints COPEC-Ghana extends to both industry and the regulators of the downstream anytime we have come across anything untoward”.
Quite contrary to held belief by AOMC, COPEC said it acted out of good faith as the organization does its work primarily through aggregation of issues and public advocacy which are largely informed by findings and scientific research undertaken periodically.
“So it beats regular thinking how anyone can confuse the roles of civil society in investigating complaints first hand with the view to report offenders for sanctions by regulatory agencies as conflicting with what regulators do which is applying sanctions and in some cases closing down of outlets when their inspections find anything untoward”.
COPEC intimated that the Association of Oil Marketing Companies might have reasons for stymieing their effort. They said, “Unless of course it is the contention of Coordinator that no one can verify quantities being dispensed by service stations in the exception of regulators, which will go completely contrary to consumer rights, which the industry itself has sought to protect everyone by providing a dispute resolution device known as the 10 litre can”.
In a statement sighted by The Vaultz News, the group also highlighted on some of their praiseworthy endeavors which cannot be discredited, as they“duly recognize the efforts and hard work of the many good ones in the downstream through a periodic awards programme dubbed PETROLEUM CONSUMER AWARDS”.