Fishermen at Elimina in the Central Region are paying double the amount approved by government for premix fuel because of the hoarding of the petroleum product by a cartel.
A Joy News investigative piece reveals that the highly subsidized product is being sold for 15.00 cedis per gallon instead of the approved 7 cedis 20 pesewas by the cartel.
Premix fuel is purposefully made for fisher folks who use outboard motors. Premix is a blend of Marine Mix lubricants and gasoline.
The 2015 Best Fisherman indicated that because of the operations of the cartel he doesn’t get adequate fuel to power his outboard motors. As a result, most of his motors are not being used, which is making life “difficult” for him.
“I have close to 500 canoes, I’m allocated a barrel of premix fuel, but, it is inadequate compared to the number of canoes I have.”
He added that, the truck that on-loads the premix fuel comes to his community once a month.
A fisherman at Dutch Komenda, Kobina Alakan said the cartel sells the product to them for 1,200 cedis per barrel, which is more than double the approved amount.
The investigations revealed that Mr Kofi Agawu and Mensah Obi were the leading hoarders. According to the investigators they could count more than 10 barrels at the premise of Mr Obi, who has been engaging in the illegality for more than five years. They also found that an operative at the state owned oil company, Goil was selling above the required price.
The chairman of the National Premix Committee, Nii Lante Bannerman speaking to the investigators acknowledged the challenge to deal with the menace. But accused the fishermen for engaging in the hoarding of premix fuel.
“The same fishers that are complaining are the same people that buy the fuel, hoard it and sell it to their colleagues.”
He explained that because they don’t have enough “personnel and resources” to tackle the challenge, they have asked the National Security to assist them to solve the menace.
By: Kofi Boateng
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.