Fishermen Petition Mahama
Some fishermen waiting in a queue to buy premix fuel.
The leadership of the Inland Canoe Fishermen Association has appealed to President John Mahama to relieve the Chairman of the National Premix Committee of his position.
Kwaku Nicol has been accused of myriad improprieties to the detriment of the fishing industry in the country.
He was alleged to have connived with certain unnamed people to divert several litres of premix fuel to the many unapproved landing ports and pocketed the revenue.
For instance, Mr Nicol was accused of increasing the weekly allocation of 1,620,000 litres to 2,250,000 to enhance his profit margin from the sale of the extra 630,000 litres.
According to the aggrieved fishermen, Mr Nicol has created ‘too many landing beaches and also does not allow the Premix Secretariat a free hand to allocate the fuel to their destinations as directed by the sector minister.
The fishermen furthermore accused the committee chairman of bragging about his current position which he said was assigned to him by the late President Mills and that ‘no sector minister can sack me.
I am in the goods books of the First Lady Lordina, so I am untouchable,’ Mr Nicol was alleged to have been singing.
The fishermen complained bitterly about Mr Nicol’s unhealthy relationship with them as he treats them as second-rate citizens.
‘Now that the Premix Committee Chairman has realised that he has done the wrong thing by approving too many landing beaches across the country, he is now dissipating the fishermen’s fund at the Premix Secretariat going round the country vetting the landing beach committees; something that he should have done as the first step before allowing them to operate,’ they alleged.
The fishermen wondered why ‘our government would be in power while we cannot get enough fuel to go fishing.’
‘We are demoralised and if Kwaku Nicol continues to be in office until the next election period, majority of us will vote against the government, as some did in 2012.’
In a telephone interview on Monday noon, Mr Nicol denied ever setting up committees, which he indicated was the preserve for the communities.
He explained that his outfit undertook a performance audit which rather exposed certain flaws on the part of the fishermen; which he asked the Municipal and District Chief Executives to rectify.
Mr Nicol, however, conceded that some of the landing beaches such as Pownu, which is close to Akosombo and Accrate, near Sawla did not even have up to 10 outboard motors and therefore did not need regular allocation of premix fuel.
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