Corruption has reached an uncontrollable level, with government appointees looting state resources and denying the people of Ghana, the needed benefit, the Minority Caucus in Parliament has said.
According to the Minority, the circumstances under which 5million litres of fuel was contaminated and sold under bizarre circumstances to a non-licensed company which led to a GHc14.25million financial loss to the state are much worrying.
There have been media reports that the managing director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Alfred Obeng Boateng, had awarded himself a sweetheart deal that would see him make GHc10million off BOST.
The reports said the BOST boss, under bizarre circumstances, released 5million litres of the contaminated product to Movenpiina, an unknown petroleum product company, thereby causing fear and panic among consumers in the market.
At a press conference in parliament yesterday, addressed by its spokesperson on Energy and Mines, Hon. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the Minority demanded an immediate interdiction of Obeng Boateng, the managing director of BOST, over the contaminated fuel deal.
In the view of that, the Minority said, the BOST boss must be interdicted over what they described as “wanton corrupt” Movenpiina deal
The Minority also wants the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), whose earlier warning on the fake fuel was ignored, to launch a full scale investigation, as well as withdraw all the litres of contaminated fuel from the market.
The call by the Minority follows a similar demand by energy think-tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), in what BOST itself has described as “human error” when 5 million litres of oil had become contaminated after diesel was mixed with petrol.
But the Minority in Parliament said it was not convinced and that the decision to sell the contaminated fuel to Movenpiina was not only inappropriate, but an act corruption which sought to deny the good people of Ghana some money, and that the contaminated product could also cause damage to vehicles and others.
Hon. Buah contended that they do not understand why a contaminated product must be sold at all cost and to a new company, when such contaminated fuel was always given to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) for treatment.
“The justification by BOST that the contaminated products were sold for use by manufacturing companies is untenable. The norm and practice is that when contamination occurs, corrective treatments of these products are undertaken by TOR through blending,” the Minority Spokesperson on Energy said.
The Minority also labelled the deal as corruption on the grounds that there was no competitive bidding for the sale of the product to Movenpiina, and accused the MD Albert Obeng of engaging in what they termed as “high level corruption.”
They further want officials at BOST to pay the loss of the GHC14.25million, an amount they believe to be the estimated financial loss officials of the company have caused to the state.
They also want a full scale investigation into the matter, because on 2nd June, this year, Alfred Obeng Boateng 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.
The Minority said, information gathered indicated that the MD of BOST has direct hand in the illegal deal, for which reason five million litres of contaminated products could be released to Movenpiina, a company which does not exist in the list of licensed companies either under Bulk Oil Distribution Companies or Oil Marketing Companies.
Mr. Caisel Ato Forson, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, on his part, said what was more revealing and interesting was that, “Movenpinaa Energy’s offer letter was dated 19th May, 2017, even though the company had been incorporated on the 29th of May 2017.”
“Further information available to us indicates that Movenpiina Co. Ltd. put in a proposal to purchase the fuel on the 19th of May 2017. Interestingly, checks from the Registrar General’s Department suggest the company was incorporated to trade and transport fuel on the 29th of May 2017.”
“This clearly suggests collusion on the part of the actors. Information available before us indicates the Managing Director took a decision to grant to Movenpiina Co. an Open-Credit sales arrangement against all the advice from his own staff. This means that the company bought the products without paying for it and in turn sold the products to a third-party Company Zupoil at 30% higher. This smacks of high level corruption,” the Minority stated.
They further revealed that, 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 Minority does not understand why the entire five million litres should be given to Movenpinaa Energy at a unit price of GHȼ1.00 at open credit. 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 is more worrying is that, 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,” the Minority said.
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.
The Minority also questioned 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.
Petroleum products from BoST, the Minority said, could only be sold to A BDC or OMC, per the law, and that NPA need to sanction Movenpinaa for an act of illegality have been perpetrated since they are not a BDC.
The minority said the questions that are needed be ask are, what led to the contamination of these products in the first instance, “Why was the particular tank in question not properly discharged and cleaned before the intake of the fresh fuel which led to the contamination? Was it due to negligence, lack of supervision or a deliberate plot by some self-seeking individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of the state and the Ghanaian tax payer?”
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba