Restructure BOST to Focus on Core Mandate – Minority
The Minority in Parliament has called on government to re-structure the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) to enable it to focus on its core mandate in the wake of the recent scandals that have hit the company.
The scandals have largely been related to BOST’s engagement in the distribution chain of oil products.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), recently alleged that BOST cost the state GHc23 million after the discounted sale of 1.8 million barrels of crude oil.
In 2017, BOST was also alleged to have fraudulently sold 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies, costing Ghana about GHc7 million in revenue.
The Minority believes these alleged losses being incurred by BOST will ultimately be borne by the taxpayer.
In a Citi News interview, the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, said it will be in the country’s own interests for BOST to focus on maintaining strategic reserves for the country.
“They are shifting from strategic reserves to running businesses. Meanwhile, the BOST margin, for which they are taking about GHc100 million a year, is for strategic reserves. I can tell you that today, even for one week, they can’t [sustain] us. In our time [under the Mahama administration], they would always issue statements as to the number of weeks that they can sustain the economy.”
In the NDC MP’s view, BOST is “definitely” being mismanaged, hence the need for the Energy Ministry to act on the Minority’s calls.
“You have these scandals hitting it [BOST] left, right and center, and I think that the Minister of Energy should reconsider restructuring BOST to ensure that first and foremost, it focuses on strategic reserves. The BOST margin is not taken to run businesses,” Mr. Mutawakilu stated.
Name cartel frustrating BOST’s operations – Minority dares staff
The Minority has already asked the Senior Staff Association of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), to name the companies they claim make up the supposed oil cartel disrupting the downstream petroleum sector.
This follows concerns raised by the senior staff Association that the activities of the said cartel could lead to an eventual shortage of fuel in the country.
Speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, indicated that the Staff would be condoning an illegality if they fail to name and shame members of so-called cartel.
Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of BOST, Ekow Sey, claimed on Tuesday that some Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) and highly placed individuals, who form the cartel, have since October 2017, prevented BOST from importing petroleum products into the country.
Mr. Sey in an interview with Citi Business News warned of dire consequences if nothing is done to break up the growing cartel within the petroleum sector.
“As we speak now, BOST is the only entity that has been given the mandate to ensure that we keep strategic stock for the country. The question we should ask ourselves is that, a state company that has been given such a huge responsibility, why is it that from October till date people are trying so hard to put obstacles in our way to bring in petroleum products for strategic reasons. For fuel insecurity, I can’t speak about it in detail but you can make some analogy and draw some inference and get your answer.”
‘BOST covering up incompetence with cartel claims’ – COPEC
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), has rejected claims of the existence of a cartel within the BOST.
The Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, on Eyewitness News insisted that no “cartel will have any interest at all in sinking and already sunken institution like BOST.”
He says the claims appear to be a ploy by BOST to cover up its incompetence.