General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
The majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has lambasted the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) for coming out with ‘cooked’ information on the contaminated fuel at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) Ltd.
According to the NPP, the motive of the NDC is principally to cover up its massive corruption at the company under the stewardship of the then Managing Director, Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko.
The NPP said that the press conference by the minority was just to throw dust into the eyes of members of the public and create fear and panic since the main opposition party knows that the current government will be unmasking the massive rotten deals between Mr Kwame Awuah Darko and the office of then President John Mahama and his Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah.
It was disclosed that the former BOST MD siphoned a huge amount of money – between GH¢2.5 million and GH¢3.5 million – at the end of every two weeks from 2015 under the guise of security transfers.
But Awuah Darko, who has been cooling off in the United States since the NDC lost power, has denied any wrongdoing.
The MP for Odotobri, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, who addressed the majority’s press conference yesterday, said the recent contamination of five million litres of fuel was detected on January 18, 2017 when the former MD, Kwame Awuah Darko, was still at post; but it was attributed to ‘human error,’ resulting in the interdiction of four members of staff who were in-charge of operations at the time.
Mr Gyamfi explained that apart from the current contamination carried out by four workers at the time, several other fuel contaminations had happened under the NDC government since 2014, which ought to be fully investigated because of the manner in which they occurred.
“The truth of the matter is that under the NDC similar contaminations occurred. In 2014 another contamination occurred and the quantity involved was 4.6 million litres; in 2015 there was another contamination and the quantity involved was 9.9 million litres and in 2016, the mother of all contaminations occurred and the quantity involved was 12 million litres,” Mr Gyamfi revealed.
The NPP said since contaminations have been occurring every year from 2014 and are all attributed to ‘human error,’ there would be the urgent need for full-scale investigations to be carried out to fish out the culprits and if any acts of deliberation is found, the culprits be made to face the full rigours of the law.
The NPP said the sale of the contaminated fuel to Movenpiina Company Limited was in the best interest of the nation since it would have cost BOST $3 million to store and treat it.
It indicated that BOST only incurred a loss of GH¢2.5 million and not GH¢14.25 million as spewed out by the NDC at its press conference.
“The minority has stated that at the time Movenpiina was chosen to purchase the contaminated fuel on May 19, 2017, the company had not been registered as a limited liability company. They further alleged that the company only got to be registered on May 29, 2017 – ten days after the offer to buy the fuel – and added that the company had no licence from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to engage in that business. These allegations must be investigated. One would want to believe that Armah-Kofi Buah and Dr Kwabena Donkoh, who led the minority press conference, are aware that the Companies Act under Section 13 allows for a contract or any transaction entered into by a company prior to its formation or by a person on behalf of the company prior to its formation,” the NPP pointed out.
It claimed that per its investigations there had been several private companies who were given contracts to buy contaminated oil under the NDC and by the revelations of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) that the BOST had never sold contaminated oil to a private company, then by inference the NDC government did not reflect those transactions in the books of BOST.
The majority accused the former management under Kwame Awuah Darko of hiring a financial consultant and paying him $50,000 a month for three years.
Mr Awuah Darko was also accused of hiring an office and paying $310,000 as two years’ extra advance after vacating the place.
“BOST, prior to the final settlement of the rented premises, had moved to No. 12, First Dzorwulu Cresent, West Airport Residential Area, from where they engaged Messrs ROLIDER Ltd for a turnkey design, build and finance their headquarters building at the cost of $39 million, exclusive of VAT,” the majority said, stressing that BOST, under the NDC, made several commitments in 2016, especially between June, 2016 and January 7, 2017 which needs to be looked into again.
Meanwhile, the current Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng, has dismissed reports that he has resigned, saying that he is still at post.