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General News of Wednesday, 14 March 2018


PIAC calls for Special Prosecutor intervention in latest BOST saga

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is pushing for a full-scale investigation into the sale of some 942,000 barrels of crude to a Lebanon-based firm, BB Energy.

PIAC Chairman, Dr Steve Manteaw said the controversial nature of the deal bothers on “state security” that must attract the attention of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) is battling the claim that it has caused financial loss to the state to the tune of GHS30million in the transaction with BB Energy.

The revelation was first made by Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Executive Director, Duncan Amoah who alleged BOST breached some procedures in the sale of the crude.

The scandal at BOST is the second after the company was accused by the Minority in Parliament in June last year of selling 5million litres of contaminated fuel to two unlicensed companies, Movenpiina and ZupOil.

An Investigative Committee set-up by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko cleared the institution of any wrongdoing in the matter

But BOST has justified its latest action, saying nothing stops it from trading with the unlicenced Lebanon company.

BOST Head of Trade Department, Albert Martey told a news conference Tuesday, BB Energy did not need any permit to buy products in Ghana.

“If you buy a product and send it to Cote d’Ivoire to refine it in their refinery, you don’t need to register there before you can get your product refined,” he defended BOST’s action.

But Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) CEO, Senyo Hosi has said any company that trades in petroleum products in the country is required to get a licence from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

Wading into the scandal, PIAC boss has called on the BNI and EOCO to investigate the deal, failing which he said the Special Prosecutor will have to intervene.

“This is a matter for state security,” Dr Manteaw said, adding the government must attach some seriousness to it.