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Opinions of Monday, 25 July 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Kwaku

Mahama's family, cohort milking BDCs dry

President John Mahama President John Mahama

John Dramani Mahama took over the presidency promising the business environment and helping businessmen prosper, but speak to any owner of a Bulk Distribution Company (BDC) in the downstream oil sector, even the NDC sympathizers and they will tell you John Mahama has completely destroyed their business.

As one alleged NDC fancier of the president’s campaign in 2012 puts it “My brother, I personally funded his campaign with $2million and the man has completely destroyed my business. Now I don’t even do any business in Ghana anymore”.

Investigation by this reporter shows that not only does the government owe the BDCs over Ghc 600M , but now the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport company under the dubious, egotistic and double dealing Kwame Awuah-Darko, whose mandate is to store strategic supplies of oil for the government, is now a BDC itself and destroying the BDC business.

Awuah-Darko with Suleman Iddrisu - a Director of UBI Petroleum and close associate of Ibrahim Mahama - and Inusah Mahama a.k.a Energy (the president’s younger brother) through a partnership with Trafigura formed a company called PUMA. PUMA is now the sole supplier of crude oil to BOST. It is believed that Awuah-Drako who harbors the ambition of being the next petroleum Minister should John Mahama win the 2016 elections has connived with Inusah Mahama to monopolise the BDC business.

What is even more interesting is that while the government still owes some of these BDCs money which is causing a serious drain in the banking sector, supplies brought in by PUMA are paid on time and with no difficulties.

What is going on in the BDC industry is one sign of how the president and his brothers - with the help of certain chief executives of statutory entities and the petroleum minister are conniving to control the oil and gas sector. This reporter continues to investigate what is happening in the BDC industry and the shady dealings of Inusah Mahama and Kwame Awuah-Darko and will lay bare all their nefarious dealings in the coming months.