BOST Boss Dodges ‘GHc10m Loot’ Questions

Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited, Alfred Obeng Boateng, appears to have taken to Ostrich antics after it emerged that he had awarded himself a sweetheart deal that would see him make Ghc10million off BOST.

Questions about Ghc15million worth of so-called off-spec fuel products that he allegedly sold to his own company at Ghc5million remain unanswered, after a promise to clarify issues in a press statement turned to be a tip-toe around the questions.

A press release by the man who is believed to have been appointed by President Akufo-Addo in return for massive contributions to Nana’s campaign clearly refused to touch on his involvement with Movenpiina, the company that he sold the BOST products to.

In that long winding press release, Mr. Boateng also refused to address evidence that the official phone number on Movenpiina’s letterheads are phone numbers that lead to his private office at Airport.

The press release, in addition, refused to speak to the fact that Movenpiina had not been in existence at the time that the company had offered to buy the so-called substandard fuel products.

The release only delivered a long windy narration about how Movenpiina was sole-sourced because the company was supposedly the only one qualified to buy the products from BOST.

On 2nd June, 2017, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, MD of BOST, had directed that five million litres of supposed contaminated fuel be sold to Movenpinaa Energy at a unit price of one Ghana cedi (GHȼ1.00) per litre.

The directive had been based on an offer made by Movenpinaa Energy, and not a response to invitation to bids by BOST to purchase five million litres of the allegedly contaminated fuel.

“It is my pleasure to inform you of our interest to purchase five million litres of your contaminated products at APD terminal” the letter by Movenpiina proposing to purchase the fuel had stated.

“Our proposed price per litre is GHȼ0.50. We are therefore waiting for your approval and directive,” the letter had said.

Interestingly, Movenpinaa Energy’s offer letter was dated 19th May, 2017, even though the company had been incorporated on the 29th of May 2017.

News reports have since also questioned how Movenpiina’s 19 May 2017 letter asking to buy the contaminated fuel did not reach BOST until the 2nd June 2017 when it was received by BOST.

According to available news reports, the BOST MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng, a close associate of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, had worked on the application of Movenpiina the same day the company’s letter reached his desk and effected the sale of the contaminated fuel.

“The entire five million litres should be given to them [Movenpinaa Energy] at a unit price of one Ghana cedi (GHȼ1.00) [at] open credit,” a directive from the MD in reply to the Movenpiina request had said.

Totally unaligned with the Ghc5million cost quoted to Movenpiina, it has since emerged that the cost of the 5million litres of the products was Ghc15million.

What’s more, there are signs that the BOST MD is also a stakeholder in Movenpiina as the official telephone number on Movenpiina’s letterhead was traced to Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng’s office in the Airport area in Accra.

More interesting, it is said that the directive to release the five million litres of supposedly contaminated fuel to Movenpinaa at open credit means Movenpinaa did not have to pay upfront for the fuel but would have the luxury of paying BOST back at their own convenience.

In other words, Movenpiina was to just carry off the supposed contaminated fuel, sell it and then pay BOST from the proceeds of the sale. The obvious sweetheart deal, thus offers Movenpiina the opportunity to make Ghc10million without investing a pesewa.

Following the breaking of the story, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, had told journalists to relax and wait for clarifications that he would give to the issues in a press release when he was contacted.

However, upon the release of the statement, none of the issues about his personal involvement with Movenpiina, the integrity of the company and the fact that the company’s official telephone line leads to his office were answered.

Rather, the release told a long convoluted story about BOST’s decision to sole source Movenpiina because it was the best company which had the capacity to buy and safely dispose of the contaminated fuel.

The statement from BOST said the sale of the fuel had been necessary because the Tema Oil Refinery, which should have refined it was not working at the time.

It also offered unsolicited announcements about projects that BOST intends to implement: “BOST is soon to build and increase storage capacity of six (6) weeks to 12weeks. BOST is to construct a twelve thousand (12,000) metric tonne storage capacity of LPG to assist the industry of which the land has already been acquired.

“BOST has acquired flow metres and pumps to upgrade our facilities across the country to improve and optimize operational efficiencies.  The organization is currently reviewing all signed contracts to ensure value for money in the quest to protect the national interest.

“BOST is creating the enabling environment to ensure BDCs operate more efficiently.”

Not a single explanation of the issues of conflict of interest, insider trading as a result of the BOST MD’s connection to Movenpiina and nepotism was given by the BOST statement. The situation has left the BOST MD smelling of suspicion.

Meanwhile, former Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Alex Mould, has raised a number of issues about the drama over the Movenpiina apparent create, loot and share scandal.

In a social media post, he underscores that whoever is responsible for the contamination of the fuel in the first place is supposed to be held liable by BOST.

“Sometime in the 2nd quarter 2017, there was a operational lapse at BOST which resulted in the diesel contaminating Petrol (or vice versa)

“So first question is which institution is responsible for the operations at BOST (it’s my understanding is that BOST has outsourced this so to avoid such liability and that they can fall on the companies’ insurance or guarantee posted in such circumstances; So, why can’t BOST hold the company liable for this lapse and call on the insurance to pay for this lapse??”

Mr. Mould also questions why the 5million litres of contamination was sold as SLOP- contaminants in the bottom of a tank for fuel storage when SLOPS can only be a few thousand litres in quantity and not 5million.

“The product was sold as SLOPs hence the 1.30 price (the actual price is 1.00 as in the document being circulated on various pfs; SLOPs is the name designated to the bottoms of a tank (in a petroleum products tank farm/depot) which has high BSW – basic sediments and water- which when cleaned out is sent to a slops tank that contains all types of slops from petrol, diesel, kerosenes and RFO; normally this is a few thousand liters – and, nothing in the range of 5m liters;

“So, Slops are normally sold at around the price of fuel oil as it is blended with RFO and sold to be used as furnace and boiler fuel;

“This PRODUCT ( so called 5m litres of contaminated fuel) was NOT SLOPs and as such the price should be somewhere at the price of diesel since the best thing is to take it back to the refinery for use as a blending product or at a tank farm where blending operations are possible.”

Alex. Mould also makes the point that per the laws of Ghana, petroleum products can only be sold by Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) or Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) but Movenpiina is neither a BDC nor an OMC, calling on the NPA to penalize the company.

“Secondly, the petroleum products from BoST can only be sold to A BDC or OMC- this is the law!!! – NPA need to sanction Movenpinaa (an illegality may have been perpetuated) since they are not a BDC.

“Thirdly the company that lifted the product from BoST depots should be an OMC; in its letter to BOST Movenpinaa asked that BOST release the product to MacWest; Is this company an OMC??? I don’t think so!!!

“So, another illegality has occurred.”

 

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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