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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Assembly wants Jah Oil punished for alleged violation of regulations

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By Omar Bah

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Public Accounts (FPAC) has recommended appropriate fines to be levied against Jah Oil company for its ‘willful noncompliance of the Petroleum Products Act 2016’, or be taken to court if need be.

The recommendation is contained in a report of a parliamentary scrutiny on the 2019 audited accounts of government agencies obtained by The Standard.

According to the FPAC committee, during their interface with the board and management of Pura, they observed that oil companies continued construction of fuel stations even after amendments of the regulations.

The committee added that the Department of Physical Planning continues to issue permits for construction of fuel stations even when Pura is not satisfied with the application. The report singled out Jah Oil  to be wanting in this regard and recommended that the company be fined.

It stressed that there is uncontrolled proliferation of fuel stations in residential areas.

After considering the reports presented, the Committee recommended that both the Pura Act and the Information and Communication Act 2009 be updated to reflect the current realities of the sector. ‚ÄúPura and their line ministry should come with amendments to any Act of Parliament for the proliferation of fuel stations in residential areas,” it added.

The committee also ordered Pura to provide a breakdown of the D13.3 million penalty charges.

“The laws need to be amended and enforced to control the proliferation of fuel stations in residential areas. Part of the licensing fees need to be given to Pura instead of paying everything to Central Government,” the committee said.

It added that the Department of Physical Planning should not issue permits for construction of fuel stations without clearance from Pura.

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