The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), has rejected claims of the existence of a cartel within the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).
The Junior and the Senior Staff unions of the BOST which made this claim called on government to move against the supposed cartel sabotaging fuel prices.In a statement, the executives of the two unions stated that BOST is the only institution with the adequate infrastructure and human resource capacity to fix petroleum.
They therefore charged government to pay attention to them and ignore persons within the company who have formed a “great cartel that dominates the industry.”
The Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah on Eyewitness News however dismissed these claims, saying no “cartel will have any interest at all in sinking an already sunken institution like BOST.”
He believes BOST is making these allegations in an attempt to cover up its incompetence and mismanagement.
Mr. Amoah further indicated that these claims came as a surprise to COPEC since BOST has over the years been battling with various challenges.
“It is quite shocking that we all woke up to this allegation, a serious one suggesting that a certain powerful cartel does not want BOST to work. Indeed, for COPEC, I am sure if you recall we have had issues with BDCs, NPA, with TOR and BOST. Our issues are generally based on the fact that if we do not pick up, the mismanagement of these facilities, as well as the fraud, the incompetence that usually comes with some of the management decisions they take will be borne by the unsuspecting public.”
Prior to the Easter break, the executives of the two unions; Abdul Jamil, Ekow Sey, Mr. Mampaya, and Mr. Newton Godfred Amoh, spoke on several radio stations mainly in Accra and Kumasi, where they cautioned the government against a “great cartel” in the petroleum industry.
“…the government is preventing the same cartel from their illegal activities such as fuel dumping, diversion of premix fuel, diversion of marine fuel, adulteration of fuel etc. For this reason, they are not happy, and will therefore mislead the government by increasing fuel prices anyhow with the excuse that international fuel prices have gone up,” they said.
They further stated that the cartel has been in the system for long and will only be suppressed when the President, the Vice President, Chief of Staff and the Energy Minister understand the important role that BOST can play to bring petroleum prices down.
“Government should know that in the deregulation petroleum regime like ours without any giant governmental agency playing a role; even if the government removes all taxes the private sector which now controls the industry will replace it with profit in a smart way leaving the ordinary consumers in their vulnerable state; hence reducing taxes is not the ultimate option,” the statement added.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana