General News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
The Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, has suggested that illegalities in the sale of contaminated fuel is more costly than illegal mining hence requires a strong political will and adequate resources to tackle it.
According to him, Ghana lost about GH¢850 million in just one year as a result of the illegal fuel trade.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, he suggested that some security agencies will require the backing of the president before any military intervention to address the menace of illegal contaminated fuel trading in the downstream petroleum sector.
“There is a greater problem downstream and those down here are very much aware of the challenges, yet when you talk to some NPA officials, some will tell they will tell you they will need the backing of the president with the military to be able to destroy those illegal makeshift facilities where our fuel is mixed and contaminated daily.”
“If you compare the fuel mafia currently, it is bigger than the galamsey operators. In one year, Ghana lost $850m to these operators of which Zup Oil is part and other illegal operators dotted across the Kpong area. These facilities exist physically,” he added.
A massive campaign against illegal mining thought to be one of the country’s biggest threats to lives and the environment, has been launched with the President giving his backing to the Lands Minister to John Peter Amewu to address the menace.
But Duncan Amoah believes much more resources must be committed by the President to address the illegal fuel trade.
He added that, “Security agencies are unable to deal with them effectively because you will go on and a bigger person from somewhere will call and say you should leave.”
He told host Bernard Avle that the 5 million litres contaminated fuel saga was a deliberate orchestration of some ‘insiders’ at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) to get business for private companies they had interests in.
“…In BOST arriving at 5 million liters contaminated, how it got contaminated, some of us suspect strongly that there were insider hands who were looking to give business to outsiders.”
Fuel contamination deliberate
President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe who said on The Big Issue in June that the fuel was contaminated deliberately.
Franklin Cudjoe said it was “perpetrated fraud.”
“Somebody must have been engaged in this whole fuel fraud and somehow it needed to be offloaded and a company has been set up not properly incorporated and we have decided to reduce that value of whatever has been contaminated deliberately, I don’t think it was a mistake. This fuel fraud is an organized crime. It is not just in Ghana…Don’t ever think these things are done by mistake,” he said.
It emerged last month that the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation company (BOST) signed a deal to sell about 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina Energy and Zup Oil at a discounted price that could result in Ghana losing about GHs7 million in revenue.
Several groups in the oil sector have called for thorough investigations into the matter over suspicion of more underground deals but the Minister of Energy together with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) cleared the BOST Managing Director, Alfred Obeng of any wrongdoing.