Business News of Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Fishermen in Tema are threatening to embark on a demonstration over the shortage of premix fuel which has persisted for two months.
The fisher -folks are also accusing their leadership of diverting the product and causing an artificial shortage.
Their threats come on the back of recent reports by Citi FM of massive diversion of premix fuel nationwide, as exposed by the National Petroleum Authority [NPA].
At least 200 cases of premix fuel diversions have been cited by the NPA since January 2017.
In all those instances, the product was documented to be sent outside the Greater Accra region, but ended up within the region, according to information obtained by the NPA’s BRV Tracking System and Returns.
But within Tema, problems of the distribution of the product also exist.
Fishermen have been complaining about the scarcity of the products, but the product was found to be readily available on the black market on a ‘connection basis’.
Most of the pump stations at the Tema New Town landing beaches had their machines covered with sacks, and there were empty gallons because they were not getting consignments of premix fuel when Citi News’ Elvis Washington visited the area.
There were also about 500 canoes sitting idle at that landing beach with a number of frustrated fishermen who disclosed their struggle to get premix fuel for fishing.
“If you go out right now saying you want to buy some premix fuel, you would find plenty people selling.
I could direct you to a place, but of I were to go there to buy, they would tell me it is finished. However, if they see someone from outside, they would sell the fuel for double the price.”
“We are going to wear our red bands because we voted for the party [NPP] to take care of us not so that we will die… by next week, we are going to hit the street. We are waiting for a permit. So the government must act.
Things may get out of hand here. The big men will just realise that everybody is fighting in Tema,” another fisherman stated to Citi News.
Other instances of Premix shortage
Effects of these premix diversions have been noted in the Western Region, where fisherfolk have said the supply of premix has not been regular all year.
The Western Region has had 189,000 gallons of premix fuel diverted 14 times, mainly to Tema, since January 2017.
Fishermen in the Ekumfi District and the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region are also experiencing a severe shortage of premix fuel.