Government to introduce automation in premix fuel distribution to prevent diversion

The artisanal fishermen have commended the idea of an automated system but urged the government to come clear on the need for an increase in premix fuel

The deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Moses Anim has said that the government will soon introduce a system to automate premix fuel to avoid diversion.

The government has subsidised premix fuel for fisherfolk to support fishing activities however, more often than not, the fuel is diverted and used for other purposes to the detriment of fishermen.

To tackle this issue, the fisheries ministry said it will put in place a technology similar to the local fuel pumps for effective distribution and monitoring.

Anim said: “We want to come out with this automation, where it will be like the usual pumping station or filling station that we have for the other hydrocarbons and then, we have registered the artisanal folks, we have registered them, there are about 14,000 registered so far, we may continue the registration and then we are giving cards to each canoe that we have registered.

“And then, we have your specialised card with a barcode on it. You put the quantity that is appropriate and adequate for you, then you just go, you flash your card to the attendant, goes through the process, if you want to scoop out a particular quantity within the quantity given you, you scoop out, you pay, the government puts all the subsidies on your card and everything for you.”

Increase in premix fuel

He added that the government has plans to increase the price of premix fuel to raise funds to implement the automation process.

“So, we want to increase it to maybe 10 cedis a litre and then we use the difference to pay for the automation. And then it will be available for you. As I speak to you, some places because of the same hoarding situation and diversion, not a diversion but the same at the landing beach and the way the distribution is being done, you go somewhere and it is about 26 cedis a litre and I believe that the fisherfolk will want a regular supply at an affordable price as well and so they can be in business and they have given us a lot of the by-in,” he said.

Why the need for an increase in premix fuel?

The artisanal fishermen commended the idea of an automated system but noted that the government must explain why there is a need for an increase in premix fuel.

Kenneth Arthur, National Secretary of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Association of Ghana said “the major thing here is that, yes you are increasing the premix fuel, that is a gallon now goes for 7cedis 20 pesewas some 7cedis 30 pesewas, you want to push it to 10 cedis per gallon, ok what went into the calculation, what is the cost of this automated machine that will be used for the automated system, what is the cost?

“How many years will you use to offset this debt? If we offset the cost of this machine, will the premix fuel be reverted back to its current price which is 7cedis 30 pesewas?

Gemma Appiah

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