General News of Sunday, 9 July 2017
The Media Marshalls of Ghana (MMG), a Media Advocacy Group which comprises of seasoned journalists and eminent professionals from different fields of endeavour are requesting for an independent investigation into the BOST scandal.
In a statement released, the group expressed their dissatisfaction concerning the BNI report that cleared the BOST MD of any wrongdoing saying it raises serious yet unanswered questions.
They stated “The Media Marshalls of Ghana’s own investigations arising out of its interest in the saga in view of the huge financial loss it has brought to the state, it gives it a cause to ask for an independent inquest into the scandal because of the following facts it has established”.
Read below a statement from the group:
Media Marshalls’ statement for independent inquest into BOST scandal
The five (5) million litres of fuel contaminated by some officers at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) and the ensuing investigations and issuance of the beleaguered BOST with a clean bill of health by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) raises serious yet unanswered questions.
We were particularly happy at the enthusiasm and alacrity with which the minister acted to patriotically set up a committee to investigate issues of alleged corruption at BOST until the minister’s press conference on 4th July 2017 revealing a BNI/National Security Report which allegedly cleared the BOST Boss, management and entire staff of any wrong. It is this singular act which has necessitated this statement.
Ever since the fuel contamination scandal broke, responses by officials at BOST to serious and probing questions raised by the media, civil society organisations, stakeholders in the oil industry and Ghanaians in general have been nothing but dodgy and evasive in view of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in facts and figures put out by the Public Relations (PR) outfit of the premier strategic oil reserve.
While the Media Marshalls of Ghana (MMG) takes this opportunity to commend all Ghanaians especially the media and stakeholders in the oil sector for their vigilance and unusually keen interest shown in following every detail of the case we are particularly dissatisfied with findings arising out of the supposed BNI investigations as announced by the Energy Ministry on 4th July 2017.
The Media Marshalls of Ghana’s own investigations arising out of its interest in the saga in view of the huge financial loss it has brought to the state, gives it cause to ask for an independent inquest into the scandal because of the following facts it has established:
i) On 5th of January 2017, Mr. Awuah Darko left office as MD of BOST.
ii) Product contaminated by BOST occurred on 18th January 2017
iii) Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng assumed office as BOST MD on 23rd January 2017
iv) Question – Under whose control did the product become contaminated since between January 6th and January 22nd BOST had no MD?
v) Clearly the contamination occurred before Mr. Alfred Obeng assumed office
i) The current BOST MD constituted a six-member committee on 8th of February 2017 chaired by Mr. Edmund Aquaa, head of Internal Audit Department to ascertain the cause(s) of the product contamination
ii) The MD was given a draft copy three weeks ago and the final copy of report on 7th of July 2017.
Question – What has the MD’s own committee found out?
Why was the Finance Director of BOST interdicted?
i) Fifteen(15) companies expressed interest for the contaminated product for instance Abo Energy Solutions Limited quoted Ghc(0.8p) per litre, Nation Links Oil Limited quoted Ghc (0.80p) per litre and Movenpinaa initially quoted GHc(0.90p) per litre and later upped it to Ghc(1.30) per litre etc
ii) Movenpiina which was eventually sold the product by BOST also re-sold it to Zup Oil for GHc(1.30) per litre
Question — How could Movenpinaa resell the contaminated product at Gh(1.30) per litre to Zup Oil at the same price when we are been told by the Energy Ministry it bought it at the same Gh (1.30) per litre from BOST?
Answer – It cannot be true that Movenpinaa bought the product from BOST for Ghc(1.30)
How did Movenpinaa and the other fourteen (14) companies get to know of the contaminated fuel sale and placed in a bid since there is no trace of BOST’s advertisement on the sale, as required by the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663)?
It is clear that the processes leading to the disposal of the contaminated product did not comply with sections 83 and 84 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
iii) It is also true that Movenpinaa and Zup Oil have not been licensed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and should not have been sold the product by BOST, as such the NPA has to apply sanctions immediately without delay.
iv) The purported BNI report claiming that oil waste products had by convention not been handled by NPA licensed companies cannot be true since BATCO Investments and Glas Brown Company Limited are licensed waste fuel dealers operating in Ghana.
I) Did Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) express its inability to professionally refine or blend the contaminated product?
II) How much of which fuel contaminant overly contaminated which product between the gasoline and the diesel as being claimed by the Energy Ministry?
vi) MMG investigations show that not all remedial measures were exhausted or taken to purify the contaminated product
vii) Why should the Minister of Energy set up a committee to investigate the fuel contamination saga that the BNI had already investigated?
viii) Why should the BNI which was supposed to be part of the Minister’s committee shelve its report from that highly-powered and composite investigative committee and rail-road and pre-empt the minister’s committee’s ongoing findings with its purported findings?
From the above established facts, it is obvious that there are more lingering questions than answers, and that Ghanaians are not being told the whole truth in this BOST scandal, thus, the MMG is calling on His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to set up an independent investigative committee for fresh enquiry into the saga.