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Stephen Ashitey Adjei, an Executive Member of the National Democratic Congress in Tema East, has called on President Akufo-Addo to direct attention to problems in the premix fuel distribution chain in Tema.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra, the man who is popularly known as Moshake, said inconsistencies in the supply of premix in Tema led to artificial scarcity of the product, which was the lifeblood for fishing in Tema.
“This afternoon my demand is very simple – Mr. President, we have heard enough excuses from the sector Minister and these excuses have not solved any issues and so please make an initiative yourself,” Moshake said.
According to him, strange shortages of premix fuel had left many fishers in Tema partially employed as they were constrained to go to sea inconsistently, while the artificial shortages spawned a black market for the premix fuel.
Operators in this black market, Moshake laments, “sell the premix at prohibitive cut throat prices.”
It is not exactly clear why premix fuel difficulties keep daunting the fishers of Tema, even though a national sub-culture of widespread smuggling is a well-known phenomenon.
Apparently, officials of government are also having a tough time combating the nefarious activities of hoarding and smuggling of the highly essential fuel product.
A couple of weeks ago, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, went on an unannounced visit to the Tema harbour upon a tip off that premix fuel was being hoarded there.
The MCE and a team that accompanied him discovered some premix there, but were told that the fuel belonged to some people who saved it down for the purpose of fuelling a long fishing journey.
He complained that government kept channelling premix fuel into the national supply chain, but fishers keep sending his office complaints about shortages of the fuel.
Moshake, inferring the MCE’s complaint said Annang-La’s efforts were commendable, but that it was not effective. “I think what would be more effective is if we have the President, coming out with an innovative policy on premix distribution. We are just tired of the continuous shortages; something must be done to alleviate the suffering of our fishermen, especially those in Tema are facing.
According to Moshake, “the difficulties and frustrations have made fishing unattractive and if something urgent is not done, we may soon see many fishermen abandoning fishing altogether.”
When the Ghana News Agency contacted Nii Odamittey, Chief Fisherman for Tema to confirm or deny the allegation, he said although they were still in business, the inflow of the fuel was quite slow.
He said in the past few months the pre-mix fuel was available and anytime,the fisherfolks could go in for it, but for now they had to place orders and wait for days before getting their supplies.
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