Business News of Saturday, 15 September 2018
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) is in the news again, this time over the disappearance of about 600,000 litres of its contaminated fuel.
A five-member committee set up by the current Managing Director of BOST, George Mensah Oakley to take stock of five million litres of the off-spec product noticed the disappearance.
The committee chaired by the CEO of the Chamber for Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi said after enquiring about the disappearance of the fuel at Zup Oil, his team was told that the off-spec product had “evaporated.”
“We are told that about some 671,000 litres may have evaporated which seems to be abnormal for petroleum as far as storage of goods in BOST is concerned. It was supposed to be at the possession of the BOST depot managers. And it’s been explained for now that it may have evaporated which does not add up,” he said in an interview on Eyewitness News on Friday.
Mr. Hosi in an interview on Eyewitness News disclosed that out of the five million litres which had the seal of the National Petroleum Authority, BOST officials could not account for over 1 million litres.
He added that when they probed further, they found out that over 400,000 litres had been sold without recourse to due process.
“Almost 1.15 litres as at now has not been accounted for. There were some of the stocks that were supposed to have been under lock and key in Zup Oil, but when we checked, it was totally empty. But we were advised by the management of Zup Oil that they’ve had a reason to dispose of a full cargo. They seem to have disposed of over 1 million litres which nobody seems to have been aware of. But we are looking forward to meeting all stakeholders, so we bring some finality to the matter,” he added.
A leaked memo the committee forwarded to the MD of BOST and sighted by Citi News said: “Upon a visit by some committee members to the premises of Zup Oil on Friday, August 31, 2018, it was observed that the 471,000 litres of contaminated products which were originally off-loaded to Zup Oil, but kept in their tanks under the seal of the NPA immediately thereafter, are no longer in the tanks.”
BOST unending troubles
BOST was in the news in June 2017 for causing the country to lose some GHc7 million in revenue for allegedly selling some five million litres of contaminated fuel at a cheap price to some two unlicensed companies [at the time]; Movenpinaa and Zup Oil, set up days before the sale.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) confirmed that the two companies were also not licensed.
Following Citi News reports, there were calls for the then BOST MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng to be interdicted.
However, he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Ministry of Energy.
Battle with COPEC
Fast forward to 2018, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), also accused the then MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng of financial malfeasance.
COPEC, in April 2018 claimed Ghana lost about GHc23 million in revenue when 1.8 million barrels of crude oil was sold at a discount to an unlicensed company.
Alfred Obeng Boateng slammed the accusations, describing them as baseless.
Nonetheless, COPEC petitioned the Special Prosecutor to investigate the allegations.
Mr. Obeng was subsequently sacked by the President and named George Mensah Oakley as the new MD.