The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) has expressed concern over the numerous operating charges and fees imposed on Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) thereby suffocating the operators in the sector.
“These unprecedented charges, have the tendency of becoming a cost component, which would eventually increase the overhead cost of operation, hence the fuel price hikes in this era of the already high cost of petroleum products,” the AOMC, stated in a statement signed by Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, Industry Coordinator.
The statement addressed to some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and obtained by the Ghana News Agency said the OMCs were overburdened with the numerous charges and fees.
The AOMC Chief Executive Officer noted that the business signage fees, and other materials displayed at Filling Stations which were part of mandatory requirements for the granting and issuance of a permit to construct a Filling Station by the National Petroleum Authority attracted fees also from the MMDAs.
“These charges and fees being collected within the MMDAs jurisdiction appear to be duplicating the fees and other charges paid to statutory and regulatory bodies,” the AOMC reminded the MMDAs.
Some of the fees and charges suffocating the OMCs are; Environmental Protection Agency Processing and Permit Fees; MMDAs Business Operating Permit Fees; MMDAs Signage and Advert Fees; Fire Permit Fees; Ghana Standards Authority Verification Fees charged per each pump.
Other charges are; Vehicle Branding Fees; Ground Rent and Stool Lands Fees;; Royalty Fees; Ghana Music Association Fees; Business Operational Fees and Ghana Highway Authority entry and exit fees.
The OMCs also paid Ghana Revenue Authority, National Petroleum Authority, Factories Inspectorate and other mandatory taxes and levies.
Scores of OMC operators told the GNA that these fees and charges were chargeable per each filling stations per year, “the net effect is too huge which accounts for the fuel prices hikes.
“Most institutions including; statutory bodies, MMDAs and private sector actors see the OMCs as financial reservoirs to syphon money from. We are into business, so we will invariable transfer the huge overhead cost to the consumer”.
The OMC Operators, therefore, appealed for a regulated mechanism to ensure that the MMDAs and other regulated authorities synchronised their charges and levies to eliminate double taxation.
The OMCs said those operating in traditional areas also paid additional dues and fees to the traditional rulers.