The Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has terminated its contract with some Oil Marketing Companies over their involvement in the diversion of premix fuel across the country.
The Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, who confirmed this to Citi News, said they have terminated the contracts of about 25 Oil Marketing Companies involved in the distribution of premix fuel across the country.
According to the Ministry, the companies were found guilty of diversion hence the decision to stop them from distributing the product.
The move follows Citi News’ reports of over 200 cases of premix fuel diversions in the country since January 2017, resulting in shortage that highlighted the inefficiencies in the regulation of the petroleum sector.
Citi News discovered that at least 200 cases of premix fuel diversions had been cited by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), since January 2017.
The Ministry of Energy, in May 2017, subsequently ordered the Fisheries Ministry to probe the companies alleged to be complicit in the fuel diversion, but that did not happen.
When quizzed on her role in the scandal by Citi News, Mrs. Afoley Quaye said the NPA was in a better position to act on the widespread diversion of premix fuel, because her Ministry did not have a tracking system to identify culprits.
The news, which came at a time when fishermen were complaining over the lack of access to premix fuel generated public uproar that resulted in a joint action by the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, National Petroleum Authority and the National Premix Fuel Committee.
The stakeholders, after a crucial meeting over the matter, among other things decided that all premix fuel outlets in the country will be reviewed for compliance with standard requirements with those that fall short being closed down.