Government has defended the decision by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company to outsource the management of its petroleum storage facilities within the Accra Plains Depot to TSL Logistics Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of a Nigerian Company.
The Bulk Oil Distribution Companies in the country are however against the arrangement arguing that local industry instead has better capacity to execute it to the country’s economic advantage.
Chairman of the Parliament’s Select Committee on Mines and Energy, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has added his voice to calls for the deal to be halted – urging the Energy Minister to prove government’s commitment to the local content agenda by reversing the deal.
But Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga maintains the local companies were given the opportunity but just failed take advantage of it.
“According to management they wrote to eight (8) companies in both Ghana and Nigeria that they believe could do this particular job and five (5) didn’t respond whilst two (2) asked for extension of time and only TSL put up a proposal for the contract following which they went through the process and finally entered into the contract.
“So they were all given the opportunity from the report that I received and none of them responded and I am sure the management of BOST would come out very soon with the details. But for now I can assure you that they were given the opportunity according to the reports I received but they probably were not interested and therefore did not offer to do it” he stated on JOY FM’s Super Morning Show.
The BOST-TSL deal is part of moves by the management to revamp the company which has been grappling with operational and financial challenges. According to the Minister, the previous government had even initiated a similar contract with another Nigerian Company which failed to materialize.
“As far back as 2009, it was discovered that the previous government had entered into an agreement with another Nigerian company to do exactly what TSL is supposed to do. But when we took over we stopped it basically for the same reason that we thought we could manage the company’s challenges but over the years the losses were getting out of hand.
“So there was the decision to find a company that could manage the flow meters systems and the discharge of oil and thereby take such risks off the books of BOST because the bulk oil distribution companies kept complaining about running losses from the inefficient distribution systems of BOST. But it was realized that this Nigerian company already had a contract to do the same and was also a bulk distributors. So questions were raised about the apparent conflict of interest – that is through playing the role of a bulk distributor and an industry regulator. This, I understand led to the termination of the contract,” he added.
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