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04 July 2017

Government, BNI covering up contaminated fuel saga – Minority

 

Minority has accused the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) of an intent to cover up the alleged rot at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) in the sale of some 5 million litres of contaminated fuel.

Reports are emerging that the BNI has taken over the probe of the matter from the committee set by the Energy Ministry, and also exonerated the embattled Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng of any wrongdoing.

Addressing the press in Parliament today [Tuesday], the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, indicated that, they will stop at nothing to expose the alleged rot at BOST.

“There is a very bizarre and uncharacteristic developments in our country today that we are being told that the BNI is acting in a manner that we don’t only smell, but we can sense a cover up in respect of the matter of the selling of contaminated oil by BOST which matter bothers on fraud, corruption and abuse of office. We are aware that the Ministry of Energy has set up a committee to investigate the matter.”

The Minority Leader said information they have picked up suggest that the “the BNI is asking for dissolution of that committee.”

According to him, if such information was true, “that can only be a gargantuan cover up on a matter which is fraudulent and we believe that this action of the BNI can only be sowing the seed of corruption in our country and also allowing and preventing sunshine on matters that are of public interest.”

“The mere selling of contaminated oil matter to motorists, the mere admission of the regulator, the NPA to the extent that they were unaware and they had not licensed a particular entity also raises major issues as to which entity, registered or not registered that the state should be dealing with. The BNI would have to come public to share with us what they have investigated and what their findings are and not just a mere statement to the effect that the Minister should dissolve his committee,” he added.


Haruna Iddrisu further called on the president to stop such cover ups if he really wants to fight corruption as he had promised during the electioneering.
“We are already aware of an internal turf between the ministry and other players within government. This recent development, we find unacceptable and therefore if the president means well in fighting corruption, he should not be seen supporting any cover up and must allow the ministerial committee to proceed henceforth with full investigation of the matter and report publicly or they may as well say that they are not interested in any other matter of public interest,” Haruna Iddrisu added.

Background

BOST had been in the news for selling 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies, Movepiina and Zup Oil, which were allegedly set up few days before the sale making Ghana lose about GHc 7 million in revenue.

The NPA after complaining that it had not licensed the two firms, threatened to take legal action against the companies while investigations continue into the matter.

Some documents sighted by Citi News revealed that such cases had occurred at BOST in the past since about 38 unlicensed companies benefited from such deal between 2015 and 2016.

The Ministry of Energy subsequently set up an eight-member committee to investigate the issue. The Minority and Majority Members of Parliament also waded into the controversy taking divergent positions.

Whereas the Minority called for the appointment termination of the current Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng, the Majority demanded a full scale investigation into the matter beginning from the era of the former BOST boss, Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko.

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