General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
Amidst controversy surrounding the sale of “dirty fuel” to some companies under the auspices the Bulk Oil Storage Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Centre for Transport Security Dialogue (CETSED) has joined in the calls for the Managing Director, Alfred Obeng Boateng to step aside as investigations are launched to ascertain the facts of the situation.
According to them, it is essential that Mr. Obeng step down to ensure that there are no intrusions in the investigative process and to allow for transparency.
In a statement signed by Public Relations Officer for the center, Kojo S.A Danquah, they accused the Managing Director of watching aloof as such activities were conducted under his watch. According to them, the company’s actions have a likelihood to cause health hazards as the fumes from the contaminated oil being used by vehicles could affect the health of Ghanaians.
Though they lauded government’s decision to form an 8-member committee to look into the nooks and crannies of the issue, they urged that Mr. Obeng be suspended with immediate effect to allow investigations to go on without any hindrance.
Several persons including Minority members, some institutions and individuals have condemned the act and mounted pressure on the Managing Director for BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng to resign following the revelation of the sale of five million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies – Zup Oil and Movenpiina.
The unionized workers of BOST shortly after reports emerged, held a press conference to side with Mr. Obeng, and to dismiss 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.
Below is a copy of the full statement from CETSED:
SET ASIDE BOST MD TO MAKE WAY FOR TRANSPARENT INVESTIGATIONS. – CENTRE FOR TRANSPORT SECURITY DIALOGUE
In light of the media reportage concerning the sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel by Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to Movenpinna Energy which allegedly would cost the Ghanaian tax payer a whooping sum of 10 million cedis, the Center for Transport Security Dialogue (CETSED) whose aim is to advocate for a more safer, secured and transparent transport systems finds it prudent to comment and add our voice as this would affect the ordinary Ghanaian vehicle owner who buys at the pump.
CETSED can state unequivocally that some of the contaminated fuel has ended up at the pumps where the trotro, taxi drivers and other private vehicle owners buy their fuel.
This will generally lead to the breakdown of vehicle which will largely bring about high cost of maintenance to the ordinary driver who within the space of just 6 months is burdened with 15% increase in fares and mandatory road tow levy which has sparked so many controversies already.
Again, the introduction and sale of this contaminated fuel at the pump could lead to some health hazards as the fumes from the contaminated oil being used by vehicles could affect the health of Ghanaians in general.
Notwithstanding ,CETSED would like to use this opportunity to laud the decision by the energy minister for setting up an 8 member committee to look into the nooks and crannies of the issue even though they could have done better to avert the situation.
CETSED believes that, this committee was not just set up as a result of the numerous calls by individuals and organizations but rather out of the goodwill of the ministry and government in general to fight corruption and bring to the fore the full facts of the matter and unravel the mystery behind this whole saga.
We urge the ministry to charge the committee to investigate the matter expeditiously, document its findings and make it available to the general public.
CETSED is of a firm conviction that the activities of BOST superintended over by the managing director (MD) led to the introduction of the contaminated fuel into the market and must be suspended with immediate effect to allow investigations to go on without any hindrance.
1. In view of this issue, drivers and vehicle owners must ensure that they purchase their fuel from the state owned oil marketing company.
2. The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) should investigate to ascertain the specific fuel pump stations that have been affected with the introduction of this contaminated fuel into the market to help curb the situation
3. The BOST MD must with immediate effect be set aside to pave way for investigations
Kojo S.A Danquah