The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of being the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption in Ghana.
National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, at a press conference Monday said Mr Akufo-Addo’s handling of the BOST corruption scandal smacks of grand collusion and cover-up of epic proportions.
“The fact that till date no one is standing prosecution for this pungent corruption scandal which has caused the nation huge financial losses, bears Akufo-Addo out as the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption”.
Mr Gyamfi added, “five (5) million litres of fuel was contaminated at the premises of the state-owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) by the mixture of diesel and petrol, and sold to unlicensed companies namely, Movenpina and Zup Oil under dubious circumstances”.
“Ironically, this is a man who rode on the back of an anti-corruption campaign into office, promising not to tolerate or countenance same under his administration. However, after being elected into office, he has normalised corruption and made it very attractive in his government. He has defended and cleared his corrupt appointees of several grievous corrupt acts against the state such as the BOSTGATE scandal”, Mr Gyamfi said.
Find below Mr Gyamfi’s full statement
SPEECH READ BY COMRADE SAMMY GYAMFI, NATIONAL COMMUNICATION OFFICER OF THE NDC, AT THE SECOND EDITION OF THE NDC’s WEEKLY PRESS BRIEFING AT THE PARTY’S HEADQUATERS ON MONDAY, 8TH JUNE, 2020
Title: THE CORRUPTION TRACKER SERIES- TRACKING THE BOSTGATE CORRUPTION SCANDAL.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, corruption has undoubtedly been the bane of Ghana’s development for a very long time, with the poor and vulnerable being at the worse end of this canker.
As a responsible opposition with a duty to keep the government on its toes, the NDC is embarking on a corruption tracker series to track the status of the countless corruption scandals that Ghanaians have witnessed under the Akufo-Addo government – scandals which have occasioned huge financial losses to the state and robbed Ghanaians of the development that was promised them in 2016.
The NDC is deeply worried about the fact that resources that otherwise should have gone into developmental projects in order to uplift the poor are sadly going to line the pockets of several selfish and greedy officials of the Akufo-Addo government through graft and sleaze.
The Corruption Tracker Series we are launching today is to help Ghanaians appreciate how the corrupt Akufo-Addo government is plundering the already constrained public purse and the extent of damage this government has inflicted on all sectors of the nation.
Through this very important programme, we shall be taking pains, one after the other, to do a total and holistic recall of the numerous corruption scandals in recent time, and how President Akufo-Addo at all times, has failed to protect the public purse. While at it, we shall also prove to the Ghanaian people that contrary to his self-acclaimed anti-corruption credentials, President Akufo-Addo is indeed the leader and chief patron of this notoriously corrupt administration.
THE “BOSTGATE” CORRUPTION SCANDAL IN FOCUS
Today, we shall be focusing on the “BOSTGATE” corruption scandal that occurred in the year 2017, but has been conveniently swept under the carpet by President Akufo-Addo who thinks Ghanaians have short memories.
Now, friends from the media, what are the facts about the “BOSTGATE” corruption scandal?
On the 18th of January 2017, five (5) million litres of fuel was contaminated at the premises of the state-owned Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) by the mixture of diesel and petrol and sold to unlicensed companies namely, Movenpina and Zup Oil under dubious circumstances.
NATIONAL SECRETARIAT P.O BOX AN 5825 ACCRA-NORTH, GHANA
At all times material to this transaction, Movenpinaa Energy and Zup oil had not been licensed by the NPA to trade in petroleum products in the downstream petroleum sector of Ghana. The sale of the contaminated fuel to these unlicensed companies, therefore, breached sections 11 and 32 of the NPA Act (ACT 691) of 2005, hence unlawful.
Again, the transaction did not go through any tender process in breach of Sections 16(2) (c), 40(1), 35, 83 and 84 of the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) of 2003.
In spite of these facts, and as has been his stock-in-trade, President Akufo-Addo mounted a robust defense for the then Managing Director of BOST, insisting that allegations of corruption against the MD were baseless.
This was after the BNI and NPA had attempted to cover up the scandal by railroading the work of the committee that had been set up by the then Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko to investigate the matter.
Distinguished friends, today, we know that the committee tasked to investigate the Movenpina-Zup Oil contaminated fuel saga, has found that the transaction was criminal and that, the proceeds from same has not been paid into the state coffers till date. Indeed, the committee’s report indicates that Movenpina has not paid BOST for the 471,000 litres sold through Zup Oil Limited. The committee also found out that thousands of litres of fuel which was lodged in the tanks of the NPA could not be accounted for.
So, not only was the transaction unlawful for breach of the Public Procurement Law and the NPA Act, but the proceeds from same have been pocketed by a few corrupt officials and criminal entities with the tacit approval of President Akufo-Addo.
Ladies and gentlemen, President Akufo-Addo’s handling of the “BOSTGATE” corruption scandal smack of grand collusion and cover-up of epic proportions. The fact that till date no one is standing prosecution for this pungent corruption scandal which has caused the nation huge financial losses, bears Akufo-Addo out as the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption.
Ironically, this is a man who rode on the back of an anti-corruption campaign into office, promising not to tolerate or countenance same under his administration. However, after being elected into office, he has normalised corruption and made it very attractive in his government. He has defended and cleared his corrupt appointees of several grievous corrupt acts against the state such as the BOSTGATE scandal.
It is for this reason that the President has earned the accolade, “the Chief corruption clearing agent”. Like similar other stinking corruption scandals that Ghanaians have witnessed under this regime, the Corruption Clearing Agent, President Akufo-Addo has been under the delusion that by coming out to give flowery speeches about corruption, he will succeed in exonerating and whitewashing his administration from the corruption tag that inextricably hangs on his neck like a medal, but that has failed and Ghanaians now know him for who he really is.
NATIONAL SECRETARIAT P.O BOX AN 5825 ACCRA-NORTH, GHANA
THE RECORD OF THE NDC-MAHAMA GOVERNMENT RELATIVE TO MANAGEMENT OF BOST
Ladies and gentlemen, it is worthy of note, that under the leadership of the visionary John Dramani Mahama, BOST was so efficiently managed such that, for the first time in the history of the company, it was able trade with major international oil companies including British Petroleum (BP), Vitol, Trafigura amongst others, on an open credit supply system, a situation that helped to drive local fuel prices down in the year 2015 & 2016 even when world market prices dictated upward adjustments in fuel prices.
The erstwhile NDC-Mahama government restructured BOST’s operations from zero imports in 2013 to running a minimum of five out of the six fully functionally and profitable petroleum terminals across the country. We established a petroleum-trading department in the company and within 24 months, the company traded petroleum products of mainly Gasoline, Gasoil, LPG and Crude Oil in the West African market to the tune of USD1.5billion.
Also, at the time of exiting office in 2017, the NDC-Mahama government bequeathed to the Akufo-Addo government, 200,000 metrics tonnes of refined products valued at about GHS1 billion and 2 million barrels of crude (1 million barrels from the TEN fields and 1 million barrels of Qua-Iboe crude from Nigeria) valued at over US$100 million.
Distinguished friends from the media, so well did the NDC-Mahama government improve the finances of BOST through prudent management, that after reducing the BOST Margin from 10 pesewas to 3 pesewas in the year 2015, we indicated in our 2016 supplementary budget, that we were going to totally scrap the 3 pessewas BOST margin on the prices of petroleum products to reduce the cost of fuel products and provide some respite to Ghanaian petroleum consumers.
It is sad to note today, that as a result of the thievery and plundering of the resources of BOST in the last three and half years, the once profitable and buoyant state asset, which was a partner to several reputable multinational oil companies under the erstwhile NDC-Mahama government, has been completely run down by the Akufo-Addo government such that today, the company (BOST) has no strategic stocks of its own and is virtually borrowing to pay its workers.
Even more bizarre and painful is the fact that, after running down BOST through corruption and thievery, President Akufo-Addo who preached against the imposition of taxes on petroleum products while in opposition and promised to move Ghana from taxation to production if elected, has recently increased the BOST Margin the Mahama government had promised to scrap, by 100% on petroleum products, that is from 3 pesewas to 6 pesewas, ostensibly to raise funds for the management of the company he has collapsed.
This latest action of President Akufo-Addo at a time the nation is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic effects is a monumental betrayal of the trust of Ghanaians and smacks of the insensitivity of the highest order. President Akufo Addo’s decision to punish the already impoverished Ghanaian with more taxes, for his corrupt acts and that of his errant appointees that have brought BOST to its knees is most insensitive and completely unacceptable.
NATIONAL SECRETARIAT P.O BOX AN 5825 ACCRA-NORTH, GHANA
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, there is no gainsaying the fact that President Akufo-Addo has flattered to deceive on his promise to fight corruption and protect the public purse. The endemic levels of corruption in his government has caused the country huge financial losses for which he must be held accountable. It is now clear beyond daylight, that his much-touted fight against corruption was a ruse from day one, for which reason he will be kicked out by Ghanaians come 7th December 2020.
The NDC is deeply worried, that state resources, such as the proceeds from the sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel which could have gone into the provision of schools, roads, health and other social amenities to ameliorate the plight of suffering Ghanaians, have been pocketed by a few greedy and corrupt officials of the Akufo-Addo government. Little wonder that this government has been likened by many as an organised crime syndicate of thieves.
But ladies and gentlemen of the press, the day of accountability for the corrupt Akufo-Addo government is not far, as the next NDC-Mahama government in 2021, shall investigate and prosecute all culprits who are involved in this stinking “BOSTGATE” corruption scandal. Notice is hereby served to all those who continue to plunder the assets of state-owned entities like BOST, that the day of accountability cometh sooner than later.
Thank you for your attention.