General News of Saturday, 17 March 2018
Good governance and anti-corruption groups have been urged to go beyond throwing allegations in the public to petition relevant bodies with their evidence for conclusive investigations.
Veteran journalists Kweku Baako gave this admonition following a raging controversy over claims that state-owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation company (BOST) caused financial loss to the state to the tune of GHS30million.
The loss, according to Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), occurred when BOST sold 1.8million liters of crude to a company, BB Energy for less when other companies were willing to pay more.
COPEC said the sale of the product for less happened at a time when crude oil prices were rising in the international market.
BOST in a reply that included calling COPEC boss ignorant said one cannot sell a petroleum product bought 10 months ago at the same or better price.
This is because the product is considered distressed and by international practice less pricey, it said.
The allegations made Monday 12 March 2018 have travelled five days in the media without any finality.
“There is too much confusion out there”, Kweku Baako Jnr said on Joy News/Multi TV programme, Newsfile Saturday.
He expressed worry that until mandated investigative bodies probe the matter, the controversy will be “trapped in the court of public opinion”.
“COPEC must go one step beyond what they have done. Give your evidence to the Special Prosecutor,” he advised.
COPEC at its initial press conference tried to use the media to draw the attention of Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu.
Providing his own findings after some digging, Kweku Baako said he found COPEC’s claim that BB Energy is an unlicensed company curious because it has been operating as far back as January 2016.
BB Energy, he said, also wrote to the petroleum regulator, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) seeking permission to process at TOR, the crude it bought from BOST.
Baako wants public discussions on the controversy to be a ‘bit sober’, observing that the matter is not simple.
While stating that he is not an expert on oil matters, the veteran journalists said he does not think there was a willful attempt by BOST management to cause financial loss to the state.