General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
A Minority MP and a member of the Energy Committee in Parliament, Edward Bawa, believes the Energy Ministry’s attempt to unravel the controversies surrounding the contaminated fuel sale at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), will be held back by staff who have kicked against calls for the interdiction of their Managing Director, Alfred Obeng.
“The behaviour of the union is a clear vindication of our position that Mr. Obeng should step aside,” Mr. Bawa, said in a Citi News interview.
The Minority, which made calls for the interdiction, expressed disappointment in the stance taken by the workers on the issue.
The unionized workers of BOST held a press conference to side with Mr. Obeng, and have also dismissed the claims against the embattled MD, claiming that the issue over contaminated fuel was being overblown.
The employees, in a petition addressed to the Minister of Energy, Chief of Staff, and the Minister of National Security argued that calls for the dismissal of their MD were uncalled for since the sale of off-spec products was not new to the operations of BOST.
One of the main issues of contention however, is the fact that the two companies involved in the sale of the contaminated fuel, Zup Oil and Movenpinaa Energy, were found to be unlicensed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), thus contravening section 11 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, ACT 691, 2005.
How effective will probe be?
As the saga unraveled, the Energy Ministry served notice of intent to set up an investigative committee to probe the recent dealings at BOST.
But Mr. Bawa again said, “before this committee can work properly, even people within BOST would have to volunteer information about what they know about this transaction.”
But the MP does believes that considering their stance, they will not cooperate with the investigation that could indict their MD, who may also try sabotage the investigation.
“The committee will need documents from BOST. The committee will need people to volunteer. He is still going to interfere in the work of the committee. In my opinion, this is going to put a very strong question mark on the findings of the committee.”
More shady deals previously
The BOST staff were claiming the company receives requests from dealers of off-spec products dating back to 2014, 2015 and 2016. They however said they saw nothing untoward with those deals.
Following their protests, Citi News laid hands on a document citing some 38 companies without an NPA license, which purchased 20, 590,000 litres of contaminated fuel in 2015 and 2016.
This happened under the leadership of the former BOST MD, Kwame Awuah-Darko, who according to some staff of BOST, is seeking to have his rot covered up with this recent deal under Mr. Obeng.