The Deputy Chief Executive National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Curtis Perry Okudzeto, led a delegation to pay a working visit to the Ministry of Petroleum of Niger at the weekend.
The visit was part of the NPA’s vision of deepening the economic relationship between Ghana and Niger in the light of a growing trend in the export of Gasoil and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATK) from Ghana to Niger.
Currently, apart from the continuous increase in supply of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (USLD) to Niger, ATK exports from Ghana to Niger which commenced in April this year has seen an increase from a monthly average of 800,000 litres to about 1,500,000 litres as at June.
Mr. Okudzeto reiterated the need to facilitate a more robust relationship between the two countries: “For us at NPA, our role as regulator requires that we appreciate the industry’s dynamics and provide the necessary regulatory support for growth of the industry”.
He added further: “The growth at this point requires that we, as regulators from both sides, come together and streamline existing protocols to facilitate the export trade between our two countries and collaborate more to facilitate data sharing”.
Mr. Okudzeto expressed the NPA’s interest in discussing more business opportunities which can be exploited by players in both countries.
The discussion also centred round both countries sharing their experience of how impacts of the global crisis are being managed in the petroleum sector, especially with respect to fuel pricing and availability.
Atop the agenda for the NPA delegation was how to map out strategies to enhance efficiency in export trade while instituting measures to combat illegal malpractices in the trade.
In his subsequent interactions with Management of the State Oil Company and State refinery – Société Nigérienne des Produits Pétroliers (SONIDEP) and Société De Raffinage De Zinder (SORAZ) respectively – Mr. Okudzeto extended a special invitation for the institutions to visit Ghana and understudy some of the strategies the NPA has instituted which have contributed to making it a dynamic and robust regulator.
He further noted that Ghana stands to benefit by sharing its experience and partnering the institutions to streamline their processes, as this will ensure an efficient and reliable end-to-end monitoring regime between both countries.
The delegation also paid a courtesy call on Ghana’s Ambassador to Niger, H.E. Jonathan Magnussen.
The visit was to facilitate a working relationship with Ghanaian officials at the Embassy through whom the NPA intends to continue engaging the Nigerien authorities even after the visit.