A ministerial committee has been set up to deal with the brouhaha between the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) and Ghana Chamber of Bulk Distribution Companies over the management of the former’s petroleum storage facilities within the Accra Plains Depot.
The two companies are in disagreement over the decision by BOST to outsource the management of its petroleum facilities within the Accra Plains Depot to TSL Logistics Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of a Nigerian Company.
On Joy FM’s Top Story, Thursday, the Managing Director of BOST, Kwame Awuah-Darko and Senyo Hosi, the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) locked horns over the decision by BOST to outsource.
While Mr. Awuah-Darko justified the decision, Mr. Hosi on the other hand was against the position.
According to Mr. Hosi, TSL has no license and capacity to do the work it is required to do and will therefore affect the fortunes of the country if it is allowed to handle the deal.
The BDCs are already in court accusing BOST of blatant violation of the Public Procurement Law for illegally awarding the storage contract to the Nigerian firm, they claim has no license to operate in Ghana.
Nonetheless, the Chamber has expressed confidence in resolving the misunderstanding amicably outside the ambit of the legal system.
During the discussion, Mr. Awuah-Darko noted that BOST went through the required procurement process in selecting TSL Logistics for the wok.
“We have our differences but as business people, the way forward is to sit down and talk about those differences and I believe that conversation has already started”, he intimated.
According to him, when he got into BOST, the former managing director in 2007/2008 recognized the challenge that BOST encountered in its operations and so a decision was made to select a company to deal with some of the challenges.
A Nigerian company, Sahara, won the bid and a contract was signed between BOST and Sahara, which was not consummated and had to be terminated.
He noted that if the contract were to be completed, Sahara, which has DBC license now, would have been operating BOST terminals, giving it a natural position of strength in the operations of the facility.
“BOST must remain an open system”, he insisted.
Mr. Awuah-Darko further indicated that BOST, which has invested close to a billion dollars into infrastructure, is happy with the decision by DBCs to invest in excess of 200million dollars into its infrastructure.
He therefore denied side stepping the DBCs for the contributions made in building the capacity of BOST.
“DBCs cannot operate BOST facilities because there is a general conflict in it. The law says DBCs should invest in capacity”, he indicated.
Mr. Awuah-Darko said, a-twelve-month ultimatum is therefore given for the TSL contract to go for review, hoping that by then the DBCs would have organized themselves ‘to solve the conflict of interest issues that are of concern to me’.
On his part, Senyo Hosi, noted that there would not have been any misunderstanding on the issue if there were some engagements with the two entities.
According to him, there is no conflict in the issue, explaining that 70% of all the products that come into the market come through the CBM, owned by Trafugura, which is a supplier to the DBCs.
Because of the regulator and the dynamics of the industry, things happen smoothly even though there is competition among them, he noted.
Mr. Hosi further indicated that there is no bias against any of the companies in competition, such as Vitol and British petrol.
This, he noted is the opportunity for Ghanaians to grow its capacity and profile to enable the country champion the petroleum industry in West Africa.
He was of the view that the contract with TSL is invalid since it did not comply with the national procurement policy.
However, Mr. Hosi thinks the discussions between the two entities will go on but warned that having entrenched positions on the issue will not help resolve them.
“We want to promote the growth of the Ghanaian entrepreneur. We should be able to cure the challenges amicably with the interest of Ghana at heart,” he advocated.
The Ministerial Committee will meet officials of the two companies in an attempt to resolve the controversy.
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