Deputy Minister for Information, Pius Enam Hadzide has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has managed the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) better than the previous government.
Mr. Hadzide on Eyewitness News listed debts BOST had accrued under the previous government to justify his claim that the company performed poorly under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
“The NDC made the claim that BOST was efficiently managed by Mahama. You may want to take a moment to look at the record of BOST as of January 2017. A trade debt of 624 million dollars, the legacy debt of 273 million cedis, two-year operations without audited financial accounts, 10 million dollars of BOST finances were locked in the TOR debt through Sahara oil. The litany of failure – is this what the NDC refers to as the efficient management of BOST?”
The Deputy Minister said the NPP government has settled the legacy debt and reduced the trade debt of BOST since it assumed office.
“From 2017 up till now, the 624 million dollars that I spoke to you has been paid down to 57 million dollars as at the end of January 2020. The legacy debt of 273 million cedis that I spoke to you about has been settled.”
“If you compare the record of performance at BOST under the two administrations, I am scandalised that the NDC will claim that when they were in power, they managed BOST better. We came, we have investigated these matters, we have audited and reviewed the processes at BOST and BOST is performing better today than it was under the NDC,” he argued.
Responding to the NDC’s promise of investigating and prosecuting persons involved in the woes of BOST, Mr. Hadzide said the opposition party had no moral right to do that, given that the illegal sale of contaminated fuel to some companies happened under its administration too.
“On citinewsroom.com you did some fantastic work and you exposed that it [sale of contaminated fuel] was the practice that preceded the coming into office of the then MD at BOST. You exposed that some 38 companies also benefitted from this contaminated product. It means the MD at the time was using these processes and procedure. We are the ones that came to review this.”
While launching its Corruption Tracker Series in Accra on Monday, June 8, 2020, the NDC accused President Akufo-Addo of creating an enabling environment for corruption to thrive in his government.
National Communication Officer of the NDC, Mr. Sammy Gyamfi, at the launch, zoomed in on the BOST scandal which occurred in 2017.
“On the 18th of January 2017, five (5) million litres of fuel was contaminated at the premises of the state-owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) by the mixture of diesel and petrol, and sold to unlicensed companies namely, Movenpina and Zup Oil under dubious circumstances.”
“At all times material to this transaction, Movenpina Energy and Zup oil had not been licensed by the NPA to trade in petroleum products in the downstream petroleum sector of Ghana. The sale of the contaminated fuel to these unlicensed companies therefore breached sections 11 and 32 of the NPA Act (ACT 691) of 2005, hence unlawful. Again, the transaction did not go through any tender process in breach of Sections 16(2) (c), 40(1), 35, 83 and 84 of the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) of 2003.”
Sammy Gyamfi insisted that, in spite of these, President Akufo-Addo mounted a robust defence for BOST and its previous Managing Director.
“This was after the BNI and NPA had attempted to cover up the scandal by railroading the work of the committee that had been set up by the then Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko to investigate the matter,” Sammy Gyamfi said.
“President Akufo-Addo’s handling of the “BOSTGATE” corruption scandal smacks of grand
collusion and cover-up of epic proportions. The fact that till date, no one is standing prosecution for this pungent corruption scandal which has caused the nation huge financial losses, bears Akufo-Addo out as the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption,” he added.