Ex-BOST MD Aide Deflates Agyarko Claim

…Says ‘My Boss Never Sold A Drop Of Contaminated Fuel’

Personal Assistant to Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko, former Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST), has debunked claims that his boss sold contaminated fuel during his tenure.

Edward Combat has described the claim by Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, that Mr. Awuah-Darko also sold contaminated fuel just like current embattled BOST MD did as a big lie.

“It is false, it never happened. Contaminated fuel was never sold under him (Awuah Darko),” Mr. Combat told The Republic in an exclusive interview in Accra yesterday.

According to him, “the only thing that was sold in three years was SLOP and the total quantity of SLOP that was sold was 954,000 litres.”

Slop or sludge, which is popularly known as dirty oil, is a mixture of sediment, water and other impurities that settle at the bottom of fuel storage tanks holding fuel on storage. Contaminated fuel is a mixture of two or more refined fuels, such as petrol and diesel.

On Tuesday, this week, an attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to justify BOST’s sale of 5million litres of contaminated fuel to a company believed to be connected to the MD of BOST saw the Energy Minister take to equalization.

According to a BNI report which the Energy Minister had read, Mr. Awuah-Darko, who was MD during the regime of the National Democratic Congress, had also sold some 8million litres of contaminated fuel just like the current MD has done.

However, Mr. Combat said Mr. Awuah-Darko did not sell a single drop of contaminated fuel while he was at the helm for three years.

“If you sell contaminated products it is criminal,” Mr. Combat underscored.

He affirms information that is already rife in the public domain to the effect that Mr. Awuah-Darko had only sold slop.

“The only time there was contamination of fuel at BOST was on the 24th of December 2013, and it was 200,000 litres. It was corrected and blended and sold at the market value.”

The affirmation hammers at an attempt at equalization by the ruling NPP in the face of strong suggestions that the current MD of BOST, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, sold 5million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina, a company that is said to be linked to him.

In addition to the sale, the BOST MD had agreed to credit the fuel to Movenpiina, so that Movenpiina would have the luxury to take delivery, sell the product, before paying BOST back.

Movenpiina was, thus, just going to make profit without paying a pesewa to BOST. And the company got the contract 10 days before it officially came into existence, The Republic gathered.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Energy Minister, John Jinapor, has confirmed that Mr. Awuah-Darko did not sell any contaminated fuel while in office as MD of BOST.

“I have done my checks, the only time we had such level of contamination was on the 24th of December, 2013 when 200,000 litres of fuel was declared as off-spec. Consequently, the regulator, the National Petroleum Authority, was notified and the fuel was corrected. What he is talking about has to do with the sale of SLOPs, Slops are not contaminated fuel, Slops are sediments from fuel,” he told Accra-based Radio Gold yesterday.

Mr. Jinapor decried the content of the BNI report as porous and out of touch with the materiality of questions hovering around the fuel sale scandal.

He also said he felt suspicious about the government’s inconsistency in the matter of setting up an investigative committee.

“Minister had indicated that Ministry was putting up a committee comprising BNI, TOR, BOST, NPA, Ghana Standards Authority, Bulk Oil Distributors, Association Of Marketing Companies, Energy Commission and representatives from the relevant Civil Society Organization.” According to him, this was commendable.

But he wondered why all of a sudden the BNI, National Security and the NPA, would later launch a joint investigation into the issue without inputs from the other agencies.

Mr. Jinapor recalled that after forming the committee, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, had given the committee one month to investigate the matter, questioning why the BNI, NPA and National Security would suddenly leap to start an investigation on their own.

He also recalled that the same NPA, which had joined up with BNI and the NSS to investigate the matter, clearing the BOST MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng, had earlier announced that the fuel sale to Movenpiina was problematic.

Mr. Jinapor said the BNI/NSS/NPA report was doubtful, promising that the opposition NDC will do everything to get to the bottom of the issue.

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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