General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
More than 300,000 litres of contaminated fuel is already on the Ghanaian market, a group is alleging. According to the group calling itself ‘Deeply Concerned Ghanaians’, the inability of Zupoil to account for several litres of the product during a test by the NPA is clear indication that contaminated fuel is being sold to unsuspecting Ghanaians.
This latest revelation to the ongoing BOST off-spec fuel saga suggests a case of deceit perpetrated by Movenpiina and Zupoil.
Movenpiina bought 5 million litres of off-spec fuel from the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) at GHC1.30 per litre. This figure is corroborated by the NPP majority in parliament but strongly contested by the NDC minority in parliament who insist BOST sold a litre for GHC1.00 to Movenpiina.
The product was later sold to Zupoil after 2 million litres of it was allegedly sold off to a company called Macwest.
Both Zupoil and Movenpiina have vehemently denied releasing the product unto the market.
This account of theirs is being challenged by a group calling itself the Deeply Concerned Ghanaians.
According to the group, “If no products were released to market, the NPA would have observed a minimum 751,329 litres” of off-spec fuel in Zupoil’s possession but instead “NPA observed a total volume of 471,000 litres in Zupoil’s facility and not the minimum expected of 751,329 litres.”
This conclusion was reached following a technical analysis of differences in the densities of the contaminated products at BOST and products sampled in the Zupoil facility.
The increased densities in the products in the Zupoil facility, the group insists, can only be a result of blending the contaminated products with between 189,000 and 300,000 litres of diesel with higher density. It was therefore expected that the NPA would have found a minimum 751,329 litres of contaminated fuel and not 471,000 litres.
According to the group of ‘Deeply Concerned Ghanaians’, available evidence“ confirm(s) the release of the contaminated products to the market. It also confirms that Zupoil and Movenpiina have possibly misled Ghana by their false representations.”
Per the group’s calculations about “200,000 to 300,000 litres of contaminated products must have been released to the market. This is a fact and known in truth by the relevant authorities. Anyone with “ears” on the ground in Tema is aware of yards in which these products were traded.”
Concerns have been raised about the impact of the contaminated fuel on vehicles in the country.
This latest claim is however in sharp contrast to the position taken by BOST and NPA that no contaminated fuel has hit the Ghanaian market with the NPA assuring commuters of ‘clean’ fuel at the pumps.
There are reports the contaminated product fuel is on sale in several areas particularly within Tema.
The NPA has stated that it will take legal action against the unlicensed firms, Movenpiina and Zupoil while it conducts further investigations into the matter.
The Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko formed an eight-member committee chaired by himself to investigate the development at BOST.
There has been several calls from experts, CSOs and the NDC minority in parliament for the Head of BOST, Alfred Obeng to be sacked. However a recent BNI investigative report into the saga exonerated him. Following the release of the BNI report, the ministerial committee formed by the Energy Minister was dissolved.
The group of ‘Deeply Concerned Ghanaians’ in an open letter to President Akufo-Addo is calling on the government to immediately tackle the issue of illegal trade in petroleum products that is costing the state huge sums of money.
The group wants the President to “commission a public and independent investigation into the slop trade of the immediate past Managing Director of BOST, Kwame Awuah-Darko, and the contaminated product sale of the current BOST Managing Director, Alfred Obeng Boateng. This will demonstrate the President’s commitment to fighting corruption.”