The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says it will surcharge tanker drivers who discharge fuel to Oil Marketing Companies with leaking facilities. This forms part of the NPA’s measures to ensure compliance with safety guidelines by all OMCs.

The tanker drivers have also been charged to boycott OMCs who fail to adhere to the safety protocol in the distribution chain.

The NPA’s CEO, Hassan Tampuli said at a press briefing that the measures have become imperative to deal with underground shortages at fuel stations, one of the concerns raised by the drivers when they embarked on a sit-down strike on Monday.

The over 4,000 drivers embarked on a protest over conditions of service.

They, however, called off the strike after a meeting between the Tanker Drivers Association, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation drivers, Petroleum Workers Union and the regulator, NPA.

It was at this meeting that the new directives were arrived at.

Mr Tampuli says an oil laws manual has been circulated to all drivers and they must adhere fully to them.

“If a driver gets to a station and the dealer or OMC fails to adhere to the contents of the manual the driver has an obligation to boycott that station. A driver who decides to continue to discharge will be solely held responsible for whatever it is that he has committed himself to.

“You either insist on the full adherence of the contents of the manual or you boycott if they insist that you should do so,” the NPA boss said.

Drivers are expected to immediately report to their Unions if they encounter any of such situations.

“The mother Union will take it up with the OMCs and Transporters and if they are not able to resolve the matter, then they can escalate to the NOA for resolution,” Mr Tampuli added.

The drivers are happy with the directive.

General Secretary of the Tanker Drivers Association, Fuseini Iddrisu said his members are satisfied and happy that “at the end of the day we have been able to come to some level of understanding.”

Iddrisu apologised for the behavior of his members and promised to engage the stakeholders more going forward.