Small scale fuel retail outlets, run mainly by aliens refuse to pay for fuel purchased from recognised oil marketing companies, an oil dealer said on Tuesday.

Mr Prince Daniel Vanderpuije-Orgle, of the Tropic Oil Marketing Company, said there were 447 outlets for the retailers popularly known as “Gao” distributors who were in arrears of 18 billion cedis.

Mr Vanderpuije-Orgle was giving evidence in response to an invitation by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament at the Committee’s hearing in Accra.

Parliament had sought to know the side of two oil marketing companies- Tropic Oil Company and Havila Oil Company-, which together with Petrol Afrique were in arrears of 17. billion cedis to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) in 2005, according to a Report by the Auditor General.

Mr Vanderpuije Orgle commended an arrangement by the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, to pay their debts to the TOR, which made the companies, commenced their operations.

He said they were given a two-year period to clear the indebtedness, but they had not been able to match the required speed, though about 60 per cent of the marketers’ margin was used to service old debts.

Mr Vandepuije Orgle said the problem arose because of poor management in the credit system, and appealed to the Fast Track High Courts to expedite action on some of the oil related cases to compel the debtors to make good their payments.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr Joe Ghartey however, suggested it would be better to put those cases before the commercial courts to be handled faster.

Source: GNA