The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) has over the past four (4) days been all over the airwaves struggling to justify the reckless sale and discharge of over 5million litres of contaminated fuel products of both petrol and diesel onto the Ghanaian market.
A section of management including the Managing Director have been all over the media space trying to defend this sale claiming they were adviced on 3 options but outright sale and discharge of over 5million litres was the most responsible of all three options.
Among these three options as catalogued by Bost were
One would have thought a company like BOST, will, at all times work with the public interest as the primary objective, but the selfish interests and greed of some management persons including the MD seem to have taken the best part in this cruel transaction without any proper prior or post sale and discharge impact assessment done.
All 5million litres have since been signed off to an individual company called Movenpina at ghc1/litre as movenpina subsequently resells to other players for ghc1.30/litre, it is this figure BOST is banking its defense of this shameless transaction on, to suggest they have taken an economically prudent decision never seen before in the oil industry, forgetting no management in the history of the comapny nor the much bigger oil firms across the world will ever devalue, dislodge and sell cheaply over 5million litres as slop or contaminated
The Managing Director in his initial public defense of this poor judgement and recklessness have sought to indict the Regulator, The National Petroleum Authority by suggesting the (NPA) had duly sanctioned and authorized the sale of over 5million litres of contaminated products to a company with no track record in the handling of such nor storage facility to keep same
A meeting on Friday between the Regulator, BOST Md and some key persons however conclusively condemned the transaction and called for its immediate reversal together with a recall of the over 421,000 litres already discharged onto the market.
Our investigations till this date can confirm not a single litre of this contaminated products discharged has been returned to the Accra Plains Depot (APD) of BOST in Tema where it was loaded from between Monday and Wednesday of last week.
Further fueling our suspicions that the products have been released and is currently being sold at some pumps across the country.
Copec is calling on the good people of the country to help track and arrest any fuel station dealer found to be selling these contaminated products by reporting to the NPA and the other Authorities.
Copec is further calling on Authorities to immediately call the Managing Director of BOST and his cronies together with other highly compromised management members of same to order to forestall any further dangerous recklesness.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) says Ghana is likely to miss out on the January 2017 deadline for the reduction of sulphur content in diesel from 3,300 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm.
According to the Chamber, although assurances had been given by the standards committee, made up of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), as well as other relevant stakeholders, committing the country to 50 ppm in January, “we are likely to miss these assurances,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COPEC, Mr Duncan Amoah, said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Mr Moses Asaga, however, told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview that the implementation of the standards could only take effect in the first week of April 2017 after a stakeholder consultation, public awareness and a subsequent gazetting of standards were done from January to March 2017.
According to him, following a standards review meeting that took place in Accra in October 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) organised a sub-regional consultative meeting in Kenya with Ghana and Nigeria.
The meeting, he said, culminated into the Abuja Consultative Forum held on December 1, 2016 with Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin agreeing that Ghana should play a lead role in the attainment of a low sulphur content fuel across the sub-region.
“The timeline at the meeting was that Ghana is to implement the programme by the first week in April 2017, followed by Nigeria in July 2017, while Cote d’Ivoire, Benin and other West African countries upgrade facilities at their oil refineries to enable them also to take off,” Mr Asaga noted.
“We will begin the stakeholder consultations and public education in January 2017 after which a paper will be presented to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will then allow the NPA to gazette the reviewed standard for implementation to come into effect in April,” Mr Asaga hinted.
COPEC, he indicated, was similarly worried about the 17.5 per cent special petroleum levy, which Mr Amoah said was an added cost to the consumer.
He has thus called on the incoming government to consider a review of the tax as a priority in its 100 days achievable programmes.
Similarly, the council has also appealed for the introduction of a comprehensive transport fare policy for both the commuting public and transport operators.
The council observed that although fuel increases often saw upward adjustment in transport fares, the reverse was the situation when fuel prices went down, with no corresponding reduction in fares.
“The time has come for the government to put in a place a codified document that spells out the margin of increases in transport fares,” the council stated.
COPEC averred that the essence of deregulation was to ensure fair competition among the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and further allow the consuming public to have choices.
The policy, they said, had rather led to most OMCs benchmarking their prices to that of Ghana Oil Company (GOIL), a situation COPEC views as one meant to create a cartel.
“Most OMCs often wait on GOIL to introduce prices before they also price their products using 0.5 to 10 price difference and this is beginning to look like a semblance of a cartel,” the group lamented.
“Pricing variance of many OMCs is not much of a difference and we at COPEC are insisting that whatever they submitted to the NPA within the window of the price change is what they must charge and not benchmark GOIL,” Mr Amoah suggested.
“We expect the NPA to be tougher, firmer and crack the whip where necessary, and as a matter of national concern publish the prices as submitted by the OMC so the public can be well-informed instead of allowing few OMCs to be controlling the market,” Mr Amoah stressed.
By DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
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