President Nana Akufo-Addo must sack the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Alfred Obeng, for selling 5 million litres of contaminated fuel onto the Ghanaian market, the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has said in a statement signed by Executive Secretary Mensah Thompson.
The fuel was sold to a private company called Movenpiina Energy and there are reports that one million litres of it have already been distributed to the pumps.
BOST in an earlier statement said the sale was the best of three options.
“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.
“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).
“The third 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,” the statement said.
BOST also dismissed fears of losing revenue as a result of the GHS1 per litre price offered to Movenpina Energy for the contaminated fuel.
“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,” the statement added.
“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 fathom 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,” the company said.
However, ASEPA disagreed and said: “We want the president to outrightly recall the MD of BOST from his position and as a matter of urgency initiate investigations into the whole matter.”
The group also wants the consignment of contaminated fuel recalled from the market immediately.
Read ASEPA’s full statement below:
ALLIANCE FOR SOCIAL EQUITY AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY-ASEPA
SACK BOST MD, RECALL ALL CONTAMINATED FUEL FROM THE MARKET
Last week, BOST took a highly insensitive decision to offload 5miilion litres of highly contaminated fuel and fuel products onto the Ghanaian market to be sold to the unsuspecting public.
Apart from the damages these contaminated products can cause to automobile engines and other machineries, we cannot ignore the environmental risk of such fuel on our market.
Now what ASEPA cannot fathom is the poor justification if this act of cruelty by the MD of BOST.
Apart from selling the product to an affiliate company at a treacherous amount, his shear neglect of due diligence and seemingly lack of understanding of the oil sub sector and its implications for eventual users has been very much evident.
A couple of days ago COPEC issued a statement calling for a recall of these contaminated fuel from our markets, but as it stands now no attempt has been made by the MD of BOST to recall the over 5million highly contaminated petrol and diesel products.
Now what we want is an action from the government.
We want the president to outrightly recall the MD of BOST from his position and as a matter of urgency initiate investigations into the whole matter.
Ghanaians will want to know why amidst two other more viable options BOST decided to cheaply offload this huge risk unto Ghanaians.
Ghanaians will also want to know the relationship between the BOST MD and Movenpiina the company the contaminated products were sold to, to make huge profits at the expense of Ghanaians safety.
The NPA as a regulator cannot be dead silence on this matter, NPA also needs to tell us their complicity or otherwise in this whole transaction and how they intend to help recall these products from our market.
It’s very unfortunate that so far we haven’t heard the position of government on this matter, the government should be protecting our interest and make sure that these companies don’t shortchange us.
In the United States an MD of a meat processing factory was sacked and over $1miilion dollars of meat was recalled from the market by the FDA for animal abuse.
Animal abuse, yes ridiculously yes, but in Ghana a BOST MD can release 5 million litres of contaminated fuel onto the market and he is still at post for over a week and not even a litre of the supposed contaminated fuel has been recalled from the market.
We cannot continue hold Ghanaians to ransom, the taxpayer pay taxes so the government can get the resources to protect his interest.
We will call for a nationwide demonstration if the BOST MD does not resign or get sacked by the president with the next few days.
At least the president needs to show he has absolute respect for Ghanaians and he will do anything to defend our interest.
Ministry of Energy & Petroleum
All Media Houses