Ghana’s Vehicle Importation Policy Must Change – GSA

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), is suggesting a change in the country’s vehicle importation policy as a solution to the importation of alleged toxic fuel into the country.

Speaking to Citi News, the Head of Public Affairs at the Authority, Kofi Bediako Amponsah, said most of the vehicles in the country were over a decade old hence importing quality fuel would not result in a reduction in their toxic emissions.

He said the new policy could consider the importation of only new vehicles to guarantee emissions are not highly toxic.

‘Background’

A Civil Society group, the African Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP, through its partners, a Swiss NGO, Public Eye, revealed that Swiss commodity trading firms were exporting ‘dirty diesel’ to Africa.

ACEP in a statement signed by its Deputy Executive Director, Benjamin Boakye, made this known in a report it launched on Thursday, September 15, titled “Dirty Diesel”, published by its partner Public Eye.

The report revealed how Swiss commodity trading firms exploit lax regulatory standards to sell to African consumers, fuel with high sulfur content. In West Africa especially, companies such as Vitol, Trafigura and Addax & Oryx, “ruthlessly exploit weak regulatory standards, and make the local urban populations pay with their health.”

Following the release of the report, some Ghanaians have called on government to take urgent steps to address the problem.

‘Ghana’s fuel not substandard’

But the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Moses Asaga in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, saidthe diesel imported into the country are not as toxic as suggested in the report.

He further stated that, it will be difficult for Ghana to be supplied with safe fuel since it will come at extra cost to the country.

According to him, Ghana would have to pay higher premiums which will subsequently result in an increment in taxes and levies on petroleum products, if it starts requesting for quality grades of fuel.

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