Following increasing reports of  illegal bunkering and the smuggling of petroleum products by sea, the Vice President,  Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, last week, paid a working visit to the Western Naval Command at Sekondi.

The visit enabled Dr Bawumia to understand at first hand the issues of illegal bunkering and smuggling of petroleum products and to discuss the challenges of the Ghana Navy in the containing the illegal activities.

He took the opportunity to inspect a number of canoes, specially modified by the illegal bunkerers for the purpose.

Dr Bawumia was accompanied by Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defence; Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Fisheries; Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo, Chief of Naval Staff; Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Western Regional Minister; and Hon. Joseph Cudjoe, Deputy Energy Minister and MP for Effia.

The others were Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, Deputy Minister for Aviation and MP for Takoradi; Hon. Andrew Mercer, MP for Sekondi; Hassan Tampuli, Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA); and other government officials.

Speaking to the media after the visit, Vice President Bawumia said government was disturbed by the increasing reports of  illegal bunkering  and the smuggling of petroleum products.

He gave the assurance that government would deal deal forcefully and decisively with the issue and warned those engaged in it to desist for their own good.
He disclosed that Government was in the process of formulating policies aimed at dealing with the perpetrators.

Furthermore, Dr Bawumia said, Government would adequately equip the Navy, especially with patrol boats, to address the challenges outlined by the Commander of the Western Naval Command, Commodore Isaac Osei-Kuffuor.

“I am leaving here quite well-informed about the challenges, and have some good ideas about what we’re going to do. We will see the implementation soon,” he said.
On his part, Hassan Tampuli,  Chief Executive of NPA, disclosed that nine persons had been arrested and handed over to the police while four tankers been seized in recent months.

Mr Tampuli said some of the modified canoes could hold as much as 120,000 litres of fuel, enough to fill two and a half Bulk Haulage Vehicles popularly known as tankers.

While in Sekondi, the Vice President took the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V.


Nana Kobina Nketsia V and Dr Bawumia
Source: ISD (Rex mainoo Yeboah)