Business News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
Elikem Sewordor, Coordinator of Volta Marine, Premix Secretariat, has denied allegations that he is supervising the diversion of premix fuel, some of which are sold in neighbouring Togo.
A nationwide premix diversion scandal has been the subject of discussion for the past one week, after Citi News found out that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), in separate letters, has cited over 200 cases of diversions since January to October 2017.
In the latest development however, the Volta Regional Premix fuel Coordinator, Johnson Avuletey, attributing his claims to some fishermen, accused Elikem Sewordor, Coordinator of Volta Marine of the Premix Secretariat, of leading an organized operation of diverting and hoarding fuel meant for the fisher-folk in the region.
According to Mr. Avuletey, his attention was drawn to the massive diversion following complaints by the fisher-folk about shortage of the product, although enough fuel has been supplied to the area.
“I am surprised that a lot of premix is coming to the region, but the fisher-folk are still complaining… I realized that some of the coordinators are not living up to expectations. They are doing their own thing,” he told Citi News. Elikem Sewordor was accused of smuggling some of the fuel to Togo, and later sells the hoarded ones to fisher-folk at exorbitant prices.
Mr. Avuletey said he was in Togo about two months ago, and he managed to intercept a tricycle with ‘Kufuor gallons’ carrying premix.
“When I stopped them, I realized it was full of premix. So that is the job they are doing. But I could not do anything so I just left it like that. For the south, in my meetings with them, on three occasions, they complained bitterly about the coordinator, Elikem… Elikem being the coordinator was a secretary to almost 10 landing beach committees, which is not proper.”
But Elikem Sewordor, who claims to be receiving treatment at the hospital, in a statement copied to citifmonline.com, has denied the allegations. He said “the allegation of premix diversion levelled against my person is complete falsehood.
Elikem Sewordor, who is believed to be the nephew of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, explained his role as a Coordinator of Volta Marine.
Below is his response
To begin with, my role as coordinator of Volta Marine, an enclave made up of about 32 landing beaches in the Southern Volta enclave, is to place orders to the Premix Secretariat upon requisitions from LBCs within my jurisdiction. Upon placing orders with the Secretariat, OMCs are contracted by the Secretariat to do deliveries of fuel to landing beaches.
On the procedure of discharge of premix at landing beaches by OMCs, there are strict administrative controls which include the Chairman and Secretary of the receiving Landing Beach Committee signing and using their local stamps to endorse the delivery documents. All the records are verifiable so how can a coordinator be accused of diversion?
Since my appointment in April this year, there has never been a case of premix fuel diversion in my area of coordination. The only incidence, as I recall, was a redirection to a wrong landing beach as a result of instructions from the regional coordinator, Mr. Avulete.
This incident occurred in September, when Anloga, which has two landing beaches – A and B, had one of its LBCs made a requisition through me as their Coordinator, and I did place an order at the Secretariat.
However, the OMC which was contracted to do delivery was wrongly redirected to the next landing beach within Anloga upon instructions of Mr. Avulete, the regional coordinator. As news came to my attention about the incident, I reached the OMC and the order was delivered to the rightful LBC, still within Anloga, which made the requisition.
In terms of controls, various administrative bureaucracies and tighter controls have been instituted by the Premix Secretariat which guides our operations as coordinators. I, therefore, entreat the public to disregard the fabrications sponsored against my person with claims of diverting Premix fuel to Togo.
I remain loyal to the vision of the President and Minister of Fisheries to support the fisheries subsector with logistics and adequate resources for improved national fish stock and higher productivity.
Signed By: Elikem Sewordor, Coordinator of Volta Marine, Premix Secretariat