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Fuel crisis looms over cartel in petroleum industry – BOST workers

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The Senior Staff of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) are predicting a shortage in fuel following what they say is the continuous interference by a cartel in the company’s activities.

Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of BOST, Ekow Sey claims that some Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) and highly placed individuals, who form the cartel, have since October last year (2017), prevented BOST from importing petroleum products into the country.

Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. Sey warned of dire consequences if nothing is done to break up the growing cartel within the petroleum sector.

“As we speak now, BOST is the only entity that has been given the mandate to ensure that we keep strategic stock for the country.  The question we should ask ourselves is that a state company that has been given such a huge responsibility, why is it that from October till date people are trying so hard to put obstacles in our way to bring in petroleum products for strategic reasons. For fuel insecurity, I can’t speak about it in detail but you can make some analogy and draw some inference and get your answer.”

Mr. Sey also highlighted the difficulty BOST faces in maintaining the needed level of strategic stocks of petroleum products, in the face of attacks from the cartel.

“The BDCs have no mandate to keep strategic stocks for the country. So they can dispose of any products they have. But in the event that there are issues and we run out of petroleum products, who is going to ensure that we have strategic stocks for the country? It is only BOST, and once we are not allowed now, with impediments and some obstacles being put in our line of operation, it is very clear that very soon there’ll be fuel shortage within our pumps and within the market.”

In an earlier statement to express their displeasure at developments within the petroleum industry attributable to cartels, the Senior and Junior Staff Associations asserted that the great 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.

On the part of Mr. Mampaya, the Chairman of the Junior Staff Union he categorically stated that in most cases those in right positions to deal with the problems are given wrong advice.

He cautioned that if the government ignored their advice, “this great cartel whose members have made themselves kingmakers can worry the government in 2020 election because the ground is being prepared for that.”

By: Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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