The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC), has alleged that some illegal fuel dealers are harbouring the supposed contaminated fuel belonging to the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) in Tema and Kpone in the Greater Accra Region.
Following the public uproar over BOST’s sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies, Movepiina and Zup Oil, which were allegedly set up few days before the sale, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko at a press conference cleared the Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng of wrongdoing citing a Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and National Security report.
Government further challenged persons who claimed the contaminated fuel was being sold on the Ghanaian market to provide evidence.
Meanwhile, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, said he can lead the BNI to the illegal facilities.
“The real truth is being covered. The real substance of the matter is shielded from public discussion as to whether the product indeed ended up in the market. I can put on record that the last time we did some checks together with other petroleum personalities including Ben Boakye of ACEP, here in Tema–it was found that some of the BOST products were sitting in some tank yards; illegal facilities in Tema and that they were afraid to sell.”
“You push further to security operatives, you are told that indeed they can go and do the swoop but even when they are done, would the state be ready to prosecute? Because they have had several instances where NPA will go to arrest some of these illegal fuel dealers, by close of day some big people in some big places call that they should release those trucks. It’s a mafia. I can put this on record and I can personally lead BNI today, if they want to get to the bottom of this. They know all the facts on the ground. Unfortunately there are so called bigger men in the space,” he added.
Ghana loses GHc800 million over illegal fuel operations
Reports suggest more than GH¢800 million cedis that should accrue to the state as revenue is lost every year through the operation of these illegal operators.
NPA helpless in contaminated fuel saga
But it seems the NPA is helpless in the fight to clamp down on unlicensed fuel depots.
Although the NPA said it is taking steps to ensure these depots acquire licenses to operate, Duncan Amoah believes it is deliberately dragging its feet.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Acting Chief Executive of NPA, Hassan Tampoli, said activities of such illegal fuel operators is not new.
“…We are aware but as to how we will go about it, I think that is an institutional detail I don’t want to put out there. This people have been in operations for many years and I’m saying that within five months we want to take action against them. I think we should be commended.”
“This is just something we do on a regular basis. When we get the information, we set out our people to go and gather intelligence. We’ve been able to identify some areas and we are still identifying some more. But we need to get all of them, put them together then we get the necessary arrangements in place to be able to deal with those situations,” Mr. Tampoli added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana