Cletus Avoka has expressed shock at the number of fuel filling stations that have been sited along the Navrongo – Paga road in the Upper East Region.
The Chairman of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Board and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku West, suspects the filling stations could be an avenue for individuals smuggling petroleum products to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
“It doesn’t do anybody any good for us to bring in fuel from Accra and the next day, it is gone and then we turn around complain”, he said.
He has therefore tasked immigration service personnel in the area to be vigilant.
Along the Navrongo – Paga road, a distance of about 12 kilometers, there are at least 21 operational fuel filling stations. Several other filling stations are still under construction.
Avoka’s suspicion that the fuel filling stations along the Navrongo – Paga road could be avenues for smuggling petroleum products across the Paga border may not be farfetched.
Two years ago, former Interior Minister and MP for Navrongo Central, Mark Woyongo also expressed serious concerns about these filling stations.
Woyongo charged the Municipal and District Chief Executives in the area to stop issuing licenses to people who want to put up filling stations.
Owners of some of the filling stations along the Navrongo – Paga road, who plead anonymity, however, insist they are doing genuine business.
Joy News checks with some Paga residents revealed that some trucks and long vehicle drivers who often travel across the Paga border to Burkina Faso, always fill their tanks and reserve tanks before they cross the border.
Joy News understands that the distances these drivers often cover with their vehicles are not long enough to exhaust half of the fuel they buy.
They are therefore alleged to sell the excess fuel when they get to their destinations in Burkina Faso and refill when they return to Paga.
The said secret trade has created a boom in the business of selling petroleum products along the Navrongo – Paga road.
Compared to Navrongo and Paga, Bolgatanga the regional capital that has a larger population of people who own cars and motorcycles has 13 fuel stations.