• The government is digitizing most sectors of the economy
• The fishing sector is also to experience a new digitizing drive
• IDs will henceforth be required of fishermen before they get premix fuel
Fishermen across the country will henceforth need to present their identification cards before they can access premix fuel, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson has said.
This will form part of government’s agenda to digitize work in the country.
It will be recalled that in 2019, the vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, announced plans by the government to digitize the supply of premix fuel as a way of curbing the distribution tussles frequently faced in the country.
Lending support to this plan, Mavis Hawa Koomson, while speaking at this past Sunday’s Minister’s press briefing, stated how fishermen will be required to present identities before they can get the commodity.
Also, she explained that between the months of January and June this year, her ministry has so far been able to supply over 52 million litres of the fuel to the fisherfolk.
“If you go to the landing beaches, a total of 52,920,000 liters of premix fuel were supplied between January to June 2021. The Ministry has initiated processes to digitize the supply and distribution of premix fuel as a measure to further reduce the incidence of diversion and hoarding. Under the digitization program, state premix fuel will be fully automated and fishermen will use canoe identification cards to use to buy the product,” she said.
While at this, the Member of Parliament for the Odododiodoo constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has disagreed with the government’s approach.
According to him, this measure will not solve the corruption associated with the distribution of the product.
He argued that the digitized system could still be corrupted by the very same people making inputs in them.
“If you do digitization, it is still the human beings who are going to input figures and if the person is corrupt, the person is corrupt. The person will input 1,000 gallons when the person has distributed only 200 gallons. What is the backup to check all these things? Corruption in premix fuel? That one too, we need digitization? Most of the fishermen involved are not the sort of people who will appreciate these things. All that they need is that the premix is made available for them to go to sea and come back with their catch and be able to take care of their families,” he told Citi News.
In the meantime too, the Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe debunked claims that the recent shortage in the supply of the product was because they were being distributed along party lines.
He explained that the shortage was only as a result of the government’s inability to get enough to distribute to the fishermen.