Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has suggested Bernard Owusu, an executive member of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) Ghana, should be dismissed as a staff of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).
He questioned why a member of the civil society group that has constantly been accusing BOST of corruption and wrongdoings in its operations, continue to be a staff of the very institution they always indict.
“Why is it that someone who is a member of a civil society, works at BOST? Such a person should be sacked” he told Oman FM in Twi on Wednesday in Accra on the sidelines of a conference on 10 years of oil and gas; challenges and prospect.
“You [Bernard Owusu] work at BOST and also as a director of a civil society group accusing BOST,” he added.
3news.com has gathered that Mr. Owusu who is a Marshalling supervisor at BOST has been transferred to the National Service Secretariat on secondment but is still on the payroll of BOST.
COPEC has in recent times been alleging wrongdoings against BOST something the company has always denied.
On March 11, 2018 COPEC claimed it had uncovered an alleged sell off of 1.8million barrels of crude oil by BOST, which it said has caused the state to lose about 5.3 million dollars.
It claimed BOST sold the crude to an unlicenced oil marketing company, BB Energy, at a discount price of $2 per barrel.
But BOST denied any wrongdoing and described as “a total display of lack of understanding of what happens in the oil industry” the allegations by COPEC.
Head of Fuel Trade of BOST, Albert Mantey on March 13 argued that it was not out of place to give discounts on the commodity market. He explained it is economically wise to discount products in some instances.
“If you’re buying anything and you’re ready to pay cash, instead of 90 days, 120 days you’re ready to do early settlement you can be granted discount because there is value for money, you can invest the money earlier and get returns,” he explained.
Commenting on the issue on Wednesday, Mr. Boakye said urged COPEC to always understand the issues before going public with its claims against BOST, noting “all that i will say is that if they are not careful, they won’t understand the issues.
He did not understand why COPEC has made BOST its target and been accusing the state-owned company of corruption among other wrongdoings.
“If you don’t take your time to understand issues, you will be accusing [BOST] every day. COPEC should go back to the drawing board to study and understand the issues before they begin to make noise,” he advised in Twi.
We don’t fear SP
On the issue of the petition to the Special Prosecutor against BOST, Mr. Agyarko said the fact that COPEC has gone to the newly created anti-graft institution doesn’t make the allegations true whatsoever.
“The fact that you’ve gone to the special prosecutor doesn’t mean you’re right, otherwise everyone who goes to court will emerge victorious,” he said.
Mr. Agyarko said the decision to petition the special prosecutor has not out fear in them, saying “the fact that you’ve gone to the special prosecutor will not put fear in anyone”.
Listen to the interview
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana