The National Petroleum Authority, (NPA), has confirmed that the two companies alleged to have purchased the over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel under suspicious circumstances from the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST)Company, were not licensed to engage in that questionable transaction.
This corroborates the claim by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), which raised the alarm about the irregularities in the transaction.
[contextly_sidebar id=”B8pc6HPFFYWtCGCfcfQ92OxPUh5LRBcC”]According to the NPA, it will take legal action against the firms, whiles “it conducts further investigation to determine the actual quantity and quality of the products received at the facility of Zup Oil.”
The Authority confirmed this in a statement signed on Tuesday, by its acting CEO, Alhassa Tampuli, and copied to citifmonline.com, after its initial investigations into the incident.
“We wish to assure the general public that the NPA is keenly monitoring the situation and shall keep the general public updated on the development. Meanwhile, the NPA has intensified its monitoring activities of the petroleum products retail outlets nationwide to ensure the quality of the fuel sold to consumers is not compromised.”
“Additionally, the NPA has noted that, Movenpinaa Energy and Zup Oil are not licensed to undertake any commercial activity in the downstream petroleum industry. Their activities therefore infringes on section 11 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, ACT 691, 2005. Accordingly, the NPA will take appropriate legal action against the said companies” the NPA’s statement said.
Portions of the Authority’s initial findings also read: “Officials from the NPA visited the location (Zup Oil) at Gulf-City, Tema on 27th June, 2017. Documentation presented to the officials suggested that all the ten BVRs were offloaded at the facility. However, this is subject to confirmation. In this regard, the NPA is conducting further investigation to determine the actual quantity and quality of the products received at the facility of Zup Oil. Meanwhile samples of the product from the tanks have been taken for analysis and the tanks sealed to prevent tampering.”
Interdict BOST Director over sale of contaminated fuel – Minority
The transaction, which saw Movenpiina and Zup OIL purchase the fuel, is supposedly fraught with irregularities and possible corruption to the tune of 14.25 million cedis, as alleged by the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority group in Parliament.
The two groups have since called on the Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng Boateng step aside and allow for investigations into the matter.
The Minority said BOST’s argument that the “blending of the said fuel couldn’t be done at TOR because the CDU is down is most untenable”.
The Minority also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the contaminated product from the market to protect consumers and assurances that this will not recur.
“That the financial loss estimated at GHS 14.25 million be retrieved by surcharging the offending officials at BOST in line with the recent Supreme Court decision” the minority suggested.
The country is said to have lost about GHc 7 million in revenue following attempts by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to sell contaminated fuel to some oil marketing companies.
Documents sighted by Citi News indicate that BOST agreed to sell about GHc 5 million litres of the contaminated fuel to Movenpiina Energy.
The documents indicated that as at Wednesday, June 21st, 2017, BOST had agreed to sell off an estimated 186,000 litres of contaminated fuel to the oil company.
ACEP said Movenpiina initiated the transaction with BOST on 19th May, 2017, some ten days before it became a legally recognized company in Ghana.
Also, Movenpiina had not obtained the requisite license from the NPA to trade in the industry, according to the centre.
ZUPOIL LTD, the company which was named “the off-taker” was said to have a storage facility that could accommodate the volume of product, but was not known in Ghana’s petroleum industry.
Thus ACEP said it was illegal for BOST to have engaged Movenpiina and ZUPOIL LTD in the sale and storage of the off-spec petroleum product.
We didn’t err in dealings with Movenpiina, ZUPOIL – BOST
BOST, however, defended its decision to sell off the contaminated or off-spec products to Movenpiina saying the move was the most prudent considering the potential loss in revenue.
In response to this, ACEP said the management of BOST exhibited unwarranted discretion in the award of the contract to Movenpiina.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana