The government was on Monday thrown an unusual challenge by the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs), to investigate allegations of bribery and corruption levelled against members of BDCs and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Co. Ltd.
Senyo Hosi, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, threw the challenge at a news conference in Accra, following newspaper revelations of corrupt activities involving past and present officials of the two bodies from 2009 to 2014.
A comprehensive audit report by Ernst and Young (E&Y), a renowned accounting firm, indicated that officials of BOST and 16 BDCs had colluded and engaged in fraudulent practices leading to significant petroleum product and financial losses, that had affected the nation’s strategic petroleum reserves.
Although the BDCs want the government to investigate this allegation, Mr. Hosi, however claims the media reports were false, saying the BDCs had not engaged in any act of collusion with BOST to defraud the nation.
He further describes the publication in the media as wrongful explanation of the report of E&Y in which the BDCs are cited for fraudulent activities, including distributing BOST stocks without proper accounts.
The Times is amazed at the spirited defence put up by Mr. Hosi on behalf of the BDCs, and backs the call for an investigation into the allegations.
It is strange that the BDCs are now calling for the investigation after the newspaper publication last Thursday, when they have known of the existence of the report since 2014.
One wonders why it has suddenly, become necessary for the BDCs to call for an investigation now. Is it the case that they are trying to solicit public sympathy?
If it is the case that no fraud has taken place as alleged by E&Y, then there is no need to for an investigation.
We, however, believe the action of the BDCs raises suspicion, and the government should, therefore, conduct a thorough probe into the issues.
We would advise the BDCs, to fully co-operate with any investigative body which would be set up by the government to enable us to get to the bottom of the case.
Corruption is hurting everyone in the country. In fact, it is undermining the country’s economic growth and corrupting institutioins.
We must all embrace any effort that would expose corruption in the country.