BDCs Accuse BOST of corruption, mismanagement

The Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors has accused the management of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) of supervising massive mismanagement and corruption at the state-owned company.The accusation followed an audit report by auditing firm -Ernst & Young, alleging endemic collusion between the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) and some senior officials of BOST, to fleece the country of millions of Ghana cedis.

The report indicated that officials of the BDCs allegedly connived with officers at BOST, through bribery and forged documents, to inflate the volumes of products in favour of the BDCs.

However, reacting to the findings of the auditing firm on various media networks yesterday, the CEO of the BDCs, Senyo Horsi accused management of BOST of releasing the report to the media to muddy waters and downplay serious allegations of corruption levelled against the management.

Mr. Horsi claimed the BDCs were victims throughout their dealings with BOST, and therefore, could not be accused of any wrongdoing.

Workers of BOST are calling on President John Dramani Mahama to urgently set up an independent committee of inquiry to probe their management for involving in what they described as questionable deals, mismanagement, and corruption that were causing financial loss in millions of dollars to the strategic national asset.

Some of the allegations include alleged corruption in the million dollar office accommodation rented for BOST at Dzorwulu in Accra; a shady agreement with TSL, a Ghanaian subsidiary of a Nigerian-owned firm in which BOST is to pay TSL a total amount of about $38 million for a year to operate, maintain and manage BOST’s petroleum terminals in the country, as well as a budgetary allocation of $16 million for automation across all BOST depots countrywide.

Mr. Horsi said the BOST management released the report to the media to cloud these serious allegations levelled against them by their own workers, and to paint a picture that it is rather some officials of the company who are engaged in corruption.

The BDCs had been having a running battle with BOST since the TSL agreement was signed, with the former opposed to the deal. According to the BDCs, the whole deal was shrouded in secrecy and lacked the local content policy of Ghana.

The Bulk Oil Distributors indicated they had petitioned the Minister for Petroleum and the Board Chairman of BOST one clear week before the signing of the TSL contract, but the petition was not responded to.

According to them, the deal violated Ghana’s local content laws and was tantamount to ceding control of a strategic national resource to a Nigerian-owned company. The BDCs pointed out the potential risks in the event of a major dispute with Nigeria, with the example of the shortfall in supply of gas through the West Africa Gas Pipeline. – Thechronicle.com.gh

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