General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
The Majority in Parliament has called for a full-scale forensic audit into the activities of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), beginning from 2009, as they referred to the minority’s stance on the contaminated fuel sale saga as hypocritical.
The Majority at a press conference today [Friday], said the controversy at BOST was only a symptom of deep-seated rot under the leadership of the immediate past BOST Managing Director, Kwame Awuah Darko.
They alleged that between 2014 and 2015, there was a bi-monthly transfer of between GHc 2.5 to GHc3.5 million to the Chief of Staff’s office from BOST, ostensibly from the sale of contaminated fuel.
The acting chairman of the Energy Committee of Parliament, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, outlined a number of allegations of malfeasance and fuel contamination under the Mahama administration.
“In 2014, under the NDC, a similar contamination occurred. The quantity involved was 4.6 million litres. In 2015, still under the NDC, another contamination occurred. The quantity involved was 9.9 million litres. 2016 witnessed the mother of all contaminations. The quantity involved amounted to 12 million litres.”
Contaminated fuel was detected in January 2017
The Majority also said the contaminated fuel under the current BOST management, was detected in January shortly after the change in government.
“The 5 million litres of contaminated fuel was detected on January 18, 2017, exactly 11 days after the swearing in of President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo. Mr. Alfred Obeng [the current MD of BOST] had not at that time assumed office to take over, and Mr. Awuah Darko was still effectively the CEO of BOST.”
The Minority had called for the immediate interdiction of the Mr. Obeng and accused him of doing business with unlicensed companies – Zup Oil and Movenpiina, a claim which was later confirmed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
Mr. Obeng was also accused by the minority of causing financial loss to the state the tune of GHc 14.25 million.
After a Citi News report highlighted the controversial sale at BOST, the company’s management said calls for the interdiction of Mr. Obeng were a distraction from the financial rot overseen by Mr. Awuah-Darko.
BOST staff subsequently kicked against calls for the interdiction of Mr. Obeng and held a press conference to dismiss the allegations against the embattled MD, claiming 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 also 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.
The BOST staff also claimed that the company received requests from dealers of off-spec products in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and said they saw nothing untoward with those deals.
Meanwhile Citi News sighted a document indicated that some 38 companies without an NPA license, purchased 20, 590,000 litres of contaminated fuel in 2015 and 2016, under the leadership of the immediate past BOST MD.