Business News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
There is looming danger in Ashaiman due to a rise in the sale of contaminated fuel openly on tables in the municipality.
Some residents have raised safety concerns as well as the effects of such fuel on cars, motorbikes and other machines.
This comes at a time when the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), is being accused of wrongfully selling about 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to some unlicensed companies under suspicious circumstances.
In recent times, almost every corner of the town has a table top fuel station where drivers and motorbikes fill their tanks ahead of their journeys from ‘goro’ boys popularly known as ‘belebele’.
The sellers known as the ‘belebele guys’ trade in contaminated petroleum products especially petrol, diesel and dirty oil.
These products, which are sold on table tops in the full glare of the police and other authorities are cheaper.
A gallon of petrol and diesel from the ‘belebele’ guys is sold at 12 and 13 Ghana cedis respectively, as against the pump price of 18 Ghana cedis.
Citi News investigations in the Ashaiman municipality revealed that the contaminated fuel were in different colours though the sellers claim they were all petrol and diesel.
For instance, petrol at some vending points are deep red, whilst others are light red and in some instances others are a bit dark.
Some residents who interacted with Citi News were worried the situation could lead to total chaos should there be a spark from any of the vending points.
Mostly, the illegal products which are kept in kiosks and containers are sold on table tops as authorities look on unconcerned.
“I don’t know why the authorities have allowed this illegality to go on for a very long time because these people are selling contaminated fuel and they must be apprehended with immediate effect without mercy,” a resident noted.
Baba, a landlord at Ashaiman Valco flat, a densely populated area where the business is equally popular, noted that, he is unable to have a good night rest these days as a result of the sale of petroleum products just opposite his house.
“These days I am unable to sleep well because I am scared that one of these days there could be fire outbreak in my area. My neighbour who deals in this illegal petroleum product stores them in his room and it could spark fire if it mistakenly comes into contact with fire. Look at the proximity of his house and mine? I could be affected if there is a problem and this is all I have got so the police and the mandated authorities must act really fast,” he lamented.
The phenomenon which is not a hiding business in the municipality seem to be booming due to the influx of commercial moto riders in the constituency and this has resulted in new joints popping up on daily basis.
Ali, a commercial motor-rider in the area noted that, he prefers to buy petrol from the table top because it’s cheaper compared to the price at the pump.
“I prefer to buy from the goro boys because it is cheaper than that of the fuel station. For instance 1 bottle of voltic bottle is 2 cedis; so why should I go to the fuel station.”
The municipal chief executive of Ashaiman, Albert Boakye Okyere, noted that he will soon together with Municipal Security Council clump down on them.
He advised those trading in the illegal trade to stop or face the law when the swoop takes place.
“I have also noticed the unfortunate trend in the municipality and subsequently I have met with MUSEC to organize a swoop to arrest them before it becomes the latest lucrative business in the area.”