Sunday, 17 February 2019

BOST officers to face prosecution


 Image result for Ghana BOST officers to face prosecution

Adnan Adams Mohammed

Some staffs whose actions and decisions resulted in serious financial breaches at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) under the present and past administrations will soon face prosecution as the Committees are ready with their reports.

The recommendations in the two reports are being implemented, however, the Presidential Committee made serious findings about some transactions which occurred during the previous regime, the Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has hinted of a possible prosecution of officials who are found culprits.

Following the contaminated fuel saga at BOST; two committees were set up explaining that the first one which was a Ministerial Committee was to look into the contaminated fuel issue, while the other one which was set up by President Akufo-Addo was tasked to look into the financial aspect of BOST operations.

“The financial issues in BOST were very serious including transactions that are being investigated today for possible prosecution.

"Some of the transactions were done between BOST and the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). You will remember that we had one managing director for the two companies and it was during that time such questionable transactions took place,” Dr Mohammed Amin revealed this at a Meet the Press series in Accra, last week.

He however could not give details of the ongoing investigations. 

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), George Mensah Okley, has disclosed that the controversial contaminated or off-spec products which were sold by his predecessor did not find their way on the market as it was alleged.

It would be recalled that the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), during the latter part of 2018, alleged that some 600,000 litres of contaminated fuel at Zup Oil had disappeared.

Executive Director of COPEC Mr. Duncan Amoah, in a tirade of attack on BOST, alleged that the products had been brought onto the market and cautioned Ghanaians to be mindful of the fuel they buy.

BOST was rife in the news in June 2017 for causing the country to lose some GHc7 million in revenue for allegedly selling some five million litres of contaminated fuel at a cheap price to some two unlicensed companies [at the time] namely, Movenpinaa and Zup Oil, set up days before the sale.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) confirmed that the two companies were not licensed.

There were calls for the then BOST MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng, to be interdicted. However, he was cleared for no wrongdoing by the Ministry of Energy.

Fast forward to 2018, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), again, accused the then MD, Alfred Obeng Boateng, of financial malfeasance.

COPEC, in April 2018, claimed Ghana lost about GHc23 million in revenue when 1.8 million barrels of crude oil was sold at a discount to an unlicensed company.
Alfred Obeng Boateng slammed the accusations, describing them as baseless. Nonetheless, COPEC petitioned the Special Prosecutor to investigate the allegations.

Mr. Obeng was subsequently sacked by the President and named George Mensah Oakley as the new MD.

Responding to a question posed to him at the press encounter, the Managing Director of BOST refuted the claims that the off-spec products were sold onto the market.

According to him, a committee that was chaired by the CEO of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (CBOD), Senyo Hosi, to investigate the issue established the fact that the products were not sold onto the market.

“The off-spec products were not sold onto the market as it was reported,” he stressed.

He stated that the committee recommended that the products be delivered to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to be refined.


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