Contaminated fuel: Committee to advice on way forward – Boakye Agyarko

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The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko has indicated that the eight member committee tasked to look into the alleged sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina, would now offer advice to the Minister on how to avert the possible sale of contaminated or off-spec products.

According to him, the mandate also comes after a BNI report which exonerated the Managing Director of BOST, Alfred Obeng of any wrongdoing in the sale of off-spec products.

Mr. Agyarko disclosed this when he addressed the media on Tuesday on the latest development regarding the potential revenue losses upheld by some industry analysts.

Referencing an investigation jointly carried out by the Bureau of National Investigation and the National Security, the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko explained that the MD of BOST could not be found guilty of any wrongdoing in the whole process.

“In the investigations carried out so far by the state security institutions and the NPA, it shows that on the basis of previous practice, there was no wrong doing at BOST on the sale of the 5 million litres of the contaminated products,” he said.

The said investigation among others also mentioned that the contamination couldn’t have happened at a time that Mr. Alfred Obeng was in office as the MD assumed office after the contamination.

It also dismissed reports that Movenpiina Energy was selected without recourse to competitive bidding.

“BOST received expressions of interest for the purchase of contaminated products from 15 companies and Movenpiina offered the highest price of 1 cedi 30 pesewas which formed the basis of the selection. This is the highest price ever offered for the sale of contaminated products,” Mr. Agyarko asserted.

Minister constitutes 8 member committee

Last week, the eight member committee comprising officials of BNI, NPA, OMCs, National security among others was constituted by Mr. Boakye Agyarko.

The committee is expected to look into the circumstances that led to the contamination of the fuel and review the procedures undertaken by BOST to evacuate the product and ascertain the quality and remaining quantity of the product.

This also came a day after the Minority had called for the MD of BOST, Mr. Alfred Obeng to be made to step aside to allow for investigations.

Prior to this, industry watchers including the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) had called for the MD to recuse himself in order not to conflict with the outcome of the investigations.

ACEP also argued that available information alluded to the fact that Movenpiina had not been registered prior to the request for purchase of the off-spec products.

Citi Business News on Wednesday June 21st broke the story on the possible revenue loss following the sale of contaminated fuel at a cost of 1 cedi per litre, down from the market value of about 2 cedis.

Minority to pursue issue

But reacting to the latest development, the Minority maintains that the government has stepped in to circumvent the truth in the issue.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, a former Deputy Power Minister and member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor says his side will pursue the issue to the latter.

“If this is an attempt to shield the BOST MD, they should better adopt a better strategy; this would not wash. I did not come out to say that the company is not supposed to engage in the act, it was the NPA that came out with that information. So whom should we trust of the Minister, NPA, National security or BNI,” he remarked.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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