BOST MD in GHc45m scandal

A seeming attempt at reverse-psychology by the managing director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company has boomeranged badly, as huge question marks dangle on claims that he has led BOST to make a Ghc35million profit from its operations.

Contrary to flashy media reports that BOST raked in Ghc35million this year through the ingenuity of Alfred Obeng Boateng, BOST, actually, ought to have made Ghc80million in profit, according to a group.

The disparity in the figure quoted by BOST and what is said to be the real profit figure raises questions about a whopping Ghc45million that has not been accounted for.

Coalition for Social Justice, a civil society organization which revealed the Ghc80million real profit figure is therefore asking Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng to explain to the Ghanaian people where the Ghc45million difference is.

“It is… deceptive, that the Alfred Obeng-led BOST will declare a profit of GH₵35 million instead of GH₵80 million. The question we would like to ask Mr. Alfred Obeng is, where is the remaining profit of GH₵45 million?” The group asked in a statement.

According to the CSJ, the claim that the scandal-prone BOST MD should be applauded is an insult to Ghanaians because not only has he come under the suspicion of Ghc45million loot, he is also not responsible at all for even the Ghc35million profit that is attributed to his ingenuity.

“Evidence available in the records of BOST show that, in 2015 to 2016, BOST imported Crude to the tune of Eight(8) Million Barrels on open account (no cash down) for TOR to refine. By the end of 2016, TOR had successfully refined 6million barrels of the crude, whilst 2million barrels were left in the TOR Storage Tanks. The 2million barrels of Crude that was left was bought at a price $45 per Barrel, accruing $90million in total for the 2million barrels of Crude which was left behind.

“However, since February 2017, TOR has been shut down and the refinery hasn’t been able to refine the remaining 2 million barrels of Crude which was left behind by the previous administration. Our checks have revealed that, all the Alfred Obeng-led BOST has succeeded in doing this year is that, it has sold 1 million barrels of the crude which was left behind by the previous administration at the current world market price of $62 per barrel, making a profit of $17on every barrel of crude sold. In other words, the Alfred Obeng-led BOST has sold 1 million barrels of the crude which was bought at $45 million by the previous administration for $62 million dollars (cash), making a $17 million dollar profit, which is equivalent to GH₵ 80 million.”

Per the CSJ’s evidence, Mr.  Obeng Boateng did not contribute anything to make even the Ghc35million profit that is attributed to him, but only sold off 1million out of 2million barrels of crude that the previous government had secured before leaving office.

Per that sale, a profit of Ghc80 million ought to accrue to BOST, but the man has rather quoted Ghc35million as the profit, raising questions about the whereabouts of Ghc45million difference.

This is the same Alfred Obeng Boateng, who a few months ago, sold 5million litres of contaminated fuel to unregistered companies, one of which was alleged to be owned by his business partner.

In a statement signed by its Convener, Sammy Gyamfi, the CSJ demanded that Mr. Obeng Boateng tell Ghanaians the whereabouts of the Ghc45million out of the Ghc80million profit that BOST ought to have made in profits from the sale of the 1million barrels of crude within 72 hours.

It is not clear the action that the group will take against the BOST MD if he does not disclose the whereabouts of the cash.

On Wednesday last, Ghanaians woke up to the news that BOST had raked in a total of Ghc35million in profits this year.

According to reports mainly carried by tabloids affiliated to the NPP government, the profit had been made through the ingenuity of Alfred Obeng Boateng, who is notorious for selling 5million litres of fuel to unregistered companies.

The Ghc35million figure was reported to have been quoted by members of the Senior and Local Staff Union of BOST, with the workers said to have attributed projects that BOST had started as far back as 2013, including the construction of a LPG terminal in Tema, as brainchild of Alfred Obeng Boateng.

Chairman of the Junior Staff Union, one Manpaya, is even quoted as saying that the BOST MD is a hardworking man because on his birthday, this year, he travelled to the North to inspect projects!

The CSJ has since dismissed the heroworship of the MD by the staff of BOST as nonsensical, chronicling a number of debilitating developments at BOST, which it said, has led to a situation where the company is constrained to even borrow to pay salaries.

“This year, BOST imported a total of Seven Cargos of Petrol and Diesel and made a net loss of $8million in June 2017 due to the crass incompetence of its MD, Alfred Obeng.

“As a result of these debts, and the fast waning credit worthiness of BOST, BOST has not Imported a Single Drop of Petrol into the Country since June 2017. This has partly contributed to the continuous hikes in the price of petroleum products at the Pump as the Alfred Obeng-led BOST has failed to live up to its duties. Thus, the era of BDCs has returned and once again, Ghanaians have been left at the mercies of BDCs.

“Due to the palpable incompetence of the management of BOST, the $1billion Suppliers Credit which Alfred Obeng inherited at BOST has been run down to Zero. Due to this, the country has not had any Strategic Reserve of Petroleum Products since June this year. This is a very serious security issue because should there be any unanticipated emergency today, Ghana would be without fuel for the next 6 weeks and that will pose serious challenges for the citizenry and the country as a whole.

“As at today, BOST tanks are dry and staff motivation is at an all-time low The Staff Quarterly Bonus and Profit Sharing system has been cancelled, whilst BOST in the last 3 months has had to borrow to pay the Salaries of its workers. Within this same period, BOST had to discount their receivables in order to pay for their administrative expense because of lack of activity.

“All the Insurance in Europe that BOST had as of last year has been revoked by Suppliers because of the incompetence of Mr. Alfred Obeng and his management at BOST,” the CSJ noted in its statement.

It reiterated that the claim that Alfred Obeng Boateng has led BOST to make good profit is untrue because if it were so, BOST could have used the profit to cushion Ghanaians from fuel price hikes at the pumps.

CSJ said that if Alfred Boateng had refined the 1million barrels of crude that it inherited from the Mahama government, rather than sell it in its raw state, BOST would have made a profit of Ghc131million instead of the Ghc35million that it is quoting.

“If BOST had refined the 1 million barrels of Crude at TOR, Ghana would have sold the refined products (Gasoline, Gasoil, ATK/Jet, Naphtha, LPG, Cracked Fuel Oil, HFO etc.) for a minimum of $71 million and we would have made a $28 million profit which would have kept domestic fuel prices below GH₵20 per gallon.  BOST would have made a Net Profit of at least $28million equivalent to GH₵131 million from this transaction alone, had the right thing been done.”

The CSJ, without mincing words, rather rated Alfred Obeng Boateng as the most corrupt and incompetent MD that BOST has ever had. This is the same Alfred Obeng Boateng who sold 5million litres of contaminated fuel to regime cronies including an unregistered company that allegedly belongs to his business partner.

Apparently, the story that he has raked in Ghc35million profit for BOST was propped up to water down his notorious reputation as the man at the centre of the 5million contaminated fuel sale scandal. However, even in that attempt at image rehabilitation, the man appears not to have dealt honestly, as a possible profit of Ghc80million has been under quoted as Ghc35million.

CSJ, which did not mince words calling him corrupt and incompetent, also demanded his removal from office from President Akufo-Addo, to whose 2016 Presidential campaign Mr. Obeng Boateng is said to have contributed some $500,000.

“It is clear from the foregoing that all is not well at BOST. The incompetence of the current MD is crippling the affairs of BOST. We can say without a shred of doubt that Mr. Alfred Obeng is the most corrupt, inept and deficient MD that BOST has ever known, no wonder his mismanagement of BOST is worsening the livelihoods Ghanaians.

“For instance, in December 2016, Ex-pump Prices which stood at GH₵3.62 per liter, is GH₵4.49 per liter today, and this is partly due to the fact that, the Country’s State Owned Strategic Asset is stranded with graft and incompetence.

“We therefore wish to reiterate our call on His Excellency the President to sack Mr. Alfred Obeng immediately or risk the collapse of BOST in the soon to come future,” the CSJ noted.

 

 

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey

 

The Republic News Online

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