The Deputy Chief Executive of the National Petroleum (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 to deepen 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 the supply of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (USLD) to Niger, ATK export 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 dynamics of the industry and provide the necessary regulatory support for the growth of the industry.”
He added that, “…the growth, at this point, requires that we, as regulators from both sides, come together to streamline existing protocols to facilitate the export trade between the two countries,” and collaborate more to facilitate data sharing.
Mr. Okudzeto expressed the NPA’s interest in discussing more business opportunities that could be exploited by players in both countries.
The discussion also centred around both countries sharing their experiences of how the impact of the global crisis is being managed in the petroleum sector, especially with respect to fuel pricing and availability.
At the top of the agenda for the NPA delegation was how to map out strategies to enhance efficiency in export trade while instituting measures to combat the illegal malpractices in the trade.
In his subsequent interactions with the Management of the State Oil Company – Société Nigérienne des Produits Pétroliers (SONIDEP) and State refinery – Société De Raffinage De Zinder (SORAZ), Mr. Okudzeto extended a special invitation to the institutions for a visit to Ghana to understudy some of the strategies the NPA had instituted which have contributed to making the NPA remain a dynamic and robust regulator.
He further noted that Ghana stood to benefit in sharing its experience and in partnering the institutions to streamline their processes, as it 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 the Ghanaian officials at the Embassy, through whom the NPA intends to continue to engage the Nigerian authorities even after the visit.