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CEMSE to NPA: Pay full UPPF amount to transporters of petroleum products

The Centre for Environmental Management and Sustainable Energy (CEMSE ) says such an action will improve the revenues of smaller transporters which eventually benefits tanker drivers

The Centre for Environmental Management and Sustainable Energy (CEMSE) has called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to fully pay the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) amount of 85 pesewas to transporters of petroleum products in the country.

According to the Centre, such an action will improve the revenues of smaller transporters which eventually benefits tanker drivers.

The Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ Union declared a strike to seek improved conditions of service.

The strike according to the tanker drivers was due to disagreements with their employers about an implementation of welfare resolutions made by stakeholders in the distribution of petroleum products.

However, a statement signed by Benjamin Nsiah, the executive director of the Centre for Environmental Management and Sustainable Energy said “the NPA should use poor remuneration of employees as ground to terminate or revoke the transport licenses of non complying companies.”

Read the full statement below:

NPA MUST PAY IN FULL THE UNIFIED PETROLEUM PRICE FUND ON THE PRICE- Build-UP TO TRANSPORTERS

The attention of CEMSE has been drawn to media reports that Bulk Road Vehicle (Tanker) Drivers Union have halted the distribution of petroleum products across the country, either from depots to depots or depots to retail outlets (filling stations). According to the reports, the Union is on strike because of some disagreements with their employers about an implementation of welfare resolutions made by stakeholders in the distribution of petroleum products.

A careful review of the demands of the Union and comparing it to what is currently happening in the industry reveals the following;
1. Some Transport Owners and Oil Marketing Companies pay their drivers more than Ghc10,000 per month and others pay as low as Ghc1700 per month. The strike action is unfair to Transport Companies and OMCs that pay their drivers well.
2. The Unified Petroleum Price Fund has been increased to 85 pesewas by the National Petroleum Authority to cater for the needs of the drivers yet the allocation to the drivers have not been made to the transport owners nor Oil Marketing Companies. The National Petroleum Authority pays the OMCs 47 pesewas out of the 85 pesewas they collect from petroleum consumers. The 47 pesewas allocated to transport companies is inadequate to cover the cost of some of the smaller transport companies, thereby affecting their ability to pay their drivers well. They NPA has increased UPPF from 47 pesewas to 85 pesewas yet continues to pay only 47 pesewas to transporters without any justification for keeping the 38 pesewas.
3. The NPA and the labour commission do not have a sanctioned regime for OMCs and Transport owners that fail to compensate their employees base on the section 68 of the Labour Act.
4. The NPA promised to deduct some amount of Ghc1700 from the UPPF and pay directly to the drivers yet that has not been done, which is one of the main reasons why the drivers are on strike.
5. The Association of Oil Marketing Companies are kicking against the direct payment of drivers from their UPPF because they believe NPA is not the direct employer of these drivers and for that matter could not initiate direct payments to these drivers on their behalf.

Recommendations:
1. The NPA must fully pay the UPPF amount of 85 pesewas to transporters. Such an action will improve the revenues of smaller transporters which eventually benefits tanker drivers.
2. The NPA and Labour commission as well as the Trade Union Congress must develop a compensation framework in consultation with Transport Owners and Marketers for all the drivers in the petroleum downstream in line with the Labour Act (Act 651, section 68), and must enforce this framework fully to the benefits and interests of all parties.
3. The NPA and Labour commission must penalise transport companies that fail to comply with the new payment framework for the industry. NPA should use poor remuneration of employees as ground to terminate or revoke the transport licenses of non complying companies

Authored by
Benjamin Nsiah
Executive Director
Centre for Environmental Management and Sustainable Energy

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