…& Damns Agyarko For Instituting A Probe
Ghana’s seat of government, the Flagstaff House, has deployed its full defensive arsenal towards the protection of the BOST boss, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, who has been busted over the sale of five million litres of supposedly contaminated fuel to a virgin company that has strong links to him.
The Flagstaff Houseteam, led by Nana Hesse Ogyiri, Samuel Bryan Buabeng, and Krobea Kwabena Asante, operating from the sanctum of the seat of government, has virtually invaded social media with lots of falsehood and misinformation aimed at creating an erroneous impression in the public mind that the BOST boss is rather a victim of a supposed cabal that wants him out of BOST because he is supposedly working against the interest of the cabal.
All over facebook, posts like “Alfred Obeng Is innocent” “Alfred Obeng is clean” “Alfred Obeng is a target of a cabal” keeps popping up almost every thirty minutes from members of the team operating from the FlagstaffHouse.
Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, has also come under condemnation from the Flagstaff House team for constituting a committee to conduct an investigation into the whole brouhaha.
In a facebook post, Samuel Bryan Buabeng, one of the leaders of the team, insinuated that the Energy Minister was only pursuing an agenda aimed at furthering his personal ambition to “become a President at all cost”.
It would be recalled that The Ghanaian Lens on Tuesday reported the shady deal that saw the BOST boss selling five million litres of supposedly contaminated fuel to a company that has been he has been shown to have links with.
The story reads:-
With just one deal, the BOST Boss, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng and his cronies will become richer by over ten million Ghana cedis at the expense of the Ghanaian taxpayer without having to invest a single penny beyond whatever was spent to set-up a fronting company called MOVENPINAA ENERGY.
Investigations conducted by this paper revealed that on 2nd June, 2017, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng directed that five million litres of supposedly contaminated fuel should be sold to Movenpinaa Energy at a unit price of one Ghana cedi (GHȼ1.00) per litre.
Intriguingly, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng’s directive was based on an offer made by Movenpinaa Energy to purchase five million litres of contaminated fuel from BOST.
Movenpinaa Energy’s offer letter, under the heading, “EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO PROCURE FIVE MILLION LITRES OF CONTAMINATED PRODUCTS AT ACCRA PLAINS DEPOT”, reads, “it is my pleasure to inform you of our interest to purchase five million litres of your contaminated products at APD terminal”.
The offer letter concluded that, “our proposed price per litre is GHȼ0.50. We are therefore waiting for your approval and directive. Counting on your support. Thank you. Yours faithfully, G. A. Asiamah, Ag. CEO”
Although Movenpinaa Energy’s offer letter was dated 19th May, 2017, it was not until the 2nd day of June 2017that letter was received by BOST, and that same day, the BOST boss ‘most efficiently’ dealt with the offer without recourse to procurement processes and directed that “the entire five million litres should be given to them [Movenpinaa Energy] at a unit price of one Ghana cedi (GHȼ1.00) [at] open credit”.
The directive to release the entire five million litres of supposedly contaminated fuel to Movenpinaa at open credit means that Movenpinaa did not have to invest a single pesewa into purchasing the fuel and would also have the luxury of paying BOST at their own convenience!
Meanwhile, checks at the Registrar General reveal that as at the 19th of May, 2017 that Movenpinaa wrote its offer letter to BOST, the company was not legally in existence. Movenpinaa was legally incorporated as a company on 29th May, 2017.
How an entity that was not even in existence got to know that BOST has contaminated fuel to the point of knowing the exact quantity that was available is a puzzle that EOCO must find answers to.
Even more intriguing is the fact that the telephone number provided on Movenpinaa Energy’s letterhead is the same number to the BOST boss’ private office at Airport in Accra.
When The Ghanaian Lens contacted the BOST boss on phone and sought to obtain answers to some of the issues, his response was that BOST was going to issue a release to clarify everything.
The promised release was issued and it reads,
BULK OIL STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY LIMITED (BOST)
Capacity/quantity of off-spec product sale
Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) - has the core mandate to ensure the provision of adequate fuel security and natural gas transmission through the development and maintenance of appropriate infrastructural network that would facilitate an efficient and cost effective transportation and distribution service to our clients and the people of Ghana.
It is upon this backdrop that BOST wishes to inform the good people of Ghana that, within best practices, off-spec is meant to be appropriately disposed after knowing its cause since it cannot be used for its original purpose.
Yes! Within the legal right of the organisation, a volume of off -spec product to the tune of five million litres have been sold to Movenpiina.
It is also important to note that, it rests on the decision of Management as to who to do business with. And in this case, the financial ability, competence, space and the company’s (buyer) commitment not to put the product back unto the market should be duly ascertained. To this end, BOST deploys the use of only Bulk Road Vehicles (BRV) that have tracking devices installed and have dully met the requirements of NPA to haul products. Thus rendering BOST extremely responsible. The transmission department at BOST duly inspected the premises of the off-taker (ZUPOIL LTD) and was convinced that their storage facility could accommodate the volume of product.
The product was declared off-spec after going through an in-house technical assessment and a laboratory test by the Tema Oil Refinery. Thus cannot be deemed as a scandalous transaction. After the realisation of the state of the product, BOST after a thorough analysis and consultation, had three (3) options to deal with the situation;
a. Option 1
The first option is to have a corrective treatment of the off-spec product at TOR but this option was however not possible because TOR is not refining at the moment.
b. Option 2
The second option was to gradually inject a total of about seventy thousand (70,000) litres of the off-spec product into ten million litres (10,000,000) of normal product over a period which will take about ten (10) solid months for BOST to accomplish. The implication of this option is however the opportunity cost of losing the commercial value of over five million and seven hundred thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 5,700,000). This arrangement would have deprived the BDCs of getting space to store their products. The capacity of the tank holding the off-spec product is twenty million litres (20,000,000 lts).
c. Option 3
This option involves the selling of the off-spec product at a competitive ex-depot price. Comparatively, the possible revenue loss here cannot outweigh the loss in Option 1 and 2.
Clearly, OPTION 3 was the ideal from a business point of view.
Details of transaction
BOST sold the off-spec product at One cedi, thirty pesewas (1.30p) per litre as against the normal ex-depot rate of One Cedi, seventy –five pesewas (1.75p) for normal products. Thus 26 percent discount off the normal product and this is the normal and acceptable practice in the industry. The assertion that, the off-spec product should have been sold at two cedis, fifty pesewas (2.50p) is misleading because ex-depot price and pump price are completely different. BOST only sells products at ex-depot rate.
Usage of Off-Spec Products on the open market.
BOST’s responsibility is to sell off-spec products to a qualified company and it is important to note that, off-spec products are used by the steel, garment, petro chemical companies to run their machinery and certainly not for the running of vehicle engines. It can also be used as mixture for asphalt and turpentine to prevent decay of wood, etc and therefore cannot fanthom how possible off-spec products could be sold to unsuspecting consumers for whatever reason.
That notwithstanding, it is a fact that, NPA is fully in control as usual and will not allow this to happen.
Facts to Appreciate
BOST is soon to build and increase storage capacity of six (6) weeks to 12weeks.
BOST is to construct a twelve thousand (12,000) metric tonne storage capacity of LPG to assist the industry of which the land has already been acquired.
BOST has acquired flow metres and pumps to upgrade our facilities across the country to improve and optimize operational efficiencies.
The organization is currently reviewing all signed contracts to ensure value for money in the quest to protect the national interest.
BOST is creating the enabling environment to ensure BDCs operate more efficiently.
Media Relations Manager
Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited
The National Petroleum Authority has since waded into the matter and confirmed that neither Movenpinaa Energy nor Zupp Oil is registered with the NPA to trade in the downsteam sector of Ghana’s oil industry.
Although the NPA has, subsequently, been trying to assure the people of Ghana that the supposedly contaminated fuel has not found its way onto the open market, it [NPA] only succeeded in heightening concerns when it said that one truckload of the product, about forty seven thousand litres (47,000 litres) could not be accounted for.
The strenuous defense coming from the Flagstaff House clearly gives the indication that the Akufo-Addo Bawumia government is preparing the grounds to execute a major cover-up for this stinking deal.