The Executive Director of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi, says government needs to consider scrapping the subsidy on premix fuel, since such monies are only ending in private pockets through the diversion of the commodity meant for the country’s fisher-folk.
Government reportedly spends nearly Ghc200 million to subsidize the commodity annually.
Mr. Hosi is also of the view that the Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministry must be blamed for the premix fuel diversion in the country.
According to him, the Ministry, despite its key role in the supply of premix fuel to fisher-folk, has refused to cooperate with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in order to help bring the perpetrators to book.
The National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA) BRV tracking system, has revealed that huge amounts of premix fuel meant for fisher-folk, loaded from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) have been diverted for the past eight months.
Nearly 249 of such diversions took place, and the product is often sold to industries within Tema. There are also reports that some fuel stations use the fuel by sometimes mixing it with petrol and selling to unsuspecting consumers.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Senyo Hosi suggested that, incidents of premix fuel diversion had been permitted to occur for several years, and called for all institutions that appear to be supporting the illegality to be dealt with.
“The NPA I’m aware has fined some of these OMCs and some of them have paid, indicating that some of these OMCs are complicit. There is criminality associated with this, what must happen is that, people be held accountable and responsible. We have to start with the premix secretariat and the Fisheries Ministry. Why are they not cooperating with the NPA. The institutions that are failing to cooperate with the NPA must be brought to book,” he said.
Senyo Hosi believes the office of the president must be drawn into the matter to make sure that the right things are done, noting that there was the need for the subsidy on premix fuel to be removed due to the belief it was only a profit-making venture for some private individuals.
“I’ll expect that the presidency should take a keen interest in this because the presidency oversees all these institutions….We should possibly even have an open inquiry because it has been lingering on for a long time. We may even need to consider scrapping this entire subsidy thing because the subsidy for premix is largely ending in private people’s pockets,” he told Richard Sky on Eyewitness News. Premix fuel sector gold mine for party executives – Inland Fisherman
Chairman of the National Inland Canoe Fishermen Council, Jacob Tetteh Ageke, also told Citi News that political party executives in the constituencies, profit hugely from the mismanagement of the premix distribution.
Joseph Ageke claimed that local executives of whichever political party is in power or persons who claimed to have contributed to that party’s ascension to government, take possession of the fuel meant for the fisher-folk and sell it at exorbitant prices.
“We [fishermen] have been thrown out, the moment government changes, the pre-mix fuel is taken and given to party chairmen and businessmen. One person could come and say that they supported President Akufo-Addo to come into power so they are going to take over the pre-mix fuel and they indeed do so. There are communities that have no outboard motors which are taking pre-mix fuel.
The fishermen are not diverting the pre-mix fuel. It’s the fuel dealers in Ashaiman and other places, party chairmen and foot-soldiers who are not fishing and have taken over the pre-mix fuel. It happened in NDC’s regime and it’s happening more in NPP’s regime,” he claimed.
The commodity, which is sold for between Ghc7.20 and Ghc7.50 per gallon, is reportedly sold twice the amount by those who divert it.