Minority calls for investigation into sale of contaminated oil

Armah Kofi Buah

Mr Armah Kofi Buah

The Minority in Parliament has called for a full-scale investigation into what it called “blatant corruption” at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST).

The Minority’s call comes on the heels of revelations that five million litres of contaminated oil has been sold to a company associated with the managing director of the BOST under “dubious and bizarre circumstances.”

Apart from the investigations, the Minority has also called for the immediate interdiction of the BOST boss, Alfred Obeng Boateng, and immediate withdrawal of the contaminated oil from the market.

According to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus, the financial loss to the country hovers around GH¢14.25 million.

They want the money retrieved and persons behind the deal surcharged.

At a press conference in Parliament yesterday, the NDC lawmakers said the company, Movenpiina, put in a proposal to purchase the fuel on May 19 this year even before it was incorporated on May 29.

“This clearly suggests collusion on the part of the actors,” the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, who addressed the press conference, said.

Mr Buah, a former Energy Minister said the norm and practice anytime oil at the facility went bad, was for the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to undertake corrective treatment through blending.

“Why did BOST not arrange with TOR for the treatment of this particular oil?” he asked, adding that, “available information indicates that BOST failed to exhaust all means to ensure TOR blends this contaminated oil.”

In the past, he said, BOST has never sold contaminated oil, but was to ensure that same was blended to meet industry specifications as outlined by the National Petroleum Authority.

Mr Buah said the sale was shrouded in secrecy because the process did not go through any form of competitive bidding.

He said information available to them indicated that the product in question meant for industrial usage by the steel, garment, petro-chemical industry to run their machinery, had ended up on the open market, adding that, “The resultant effect will mean damage to vehicle engines and its accompanying side effects on innocent Ghanaian consumers.”

To him, the explanation by the BOST MD that the product was sold to be used within industry circles was untenable and deceptive and urged the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to crack the whip by showing Mr Boateng the exit and institute investigations into the issue with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, energy policy think tank, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy has made similar calls on the MD to step aside and urges the government to institute probe into the matter.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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