Minority raises red flag over fresh scandal at BOST

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 Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

The minority members on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee have alleged a fresh scandal at Bulk Oil and Transportation Company Limited (BOST). 

According to the group, under the able leadership of its former Managing Director, Mr. Kwame Awuah Darko commenced the process of constructing an ultra-modern twin tower office in the year 2015 to serve as office accommodation and to enhance internally generated funds to augment the cash flow of the BOST. 

The Minority, however, explained that the newly-constituted management of BOST under the Akufo-Addo administration that assumed office, falsely accused Mr. Awuah Darko of inflating and padding the contract, and as a result, the project was suspended.  

Addressing some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps in Parliament House, Ranking Member and MP for Yapei Kusawgu Constituency, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, said characteristic of the Nana Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led government, Mr. Awuah Darko and several government appointees of the erstwhile Mahama administration were subjected to thorough and detailed investigations by the Economic and Organized Crime Unit (EOCO), which of course, is nothing but witch-hunting and whitewashing. 

It is worthy of mention that not only was Mr. Awuah Darko exonerated of any wrongdoing by the EOCO investigations, but it was also established that the contract met all the necessary ingredients of value for money. 

We have, however, noted from recent developments based on documents available to us that the original contract, which was valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars) ballooned to a whopping $78,000,000.00, if the two-tower building is accounted for based on the current cost of the single unit valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars). This means the building has been inflated by 100% over the original contract. 

We say so because we have noted that the current management of BOST decided to acquire only one of the twin unit building due to the precarious financial position of the company; however, it applied to the Public Procurement Authority for approval to vary the original contract for the single unit from the original price of $19,500,000.00 per unit to a new cost of $24,000,000.00,he stated on Thursday, July 28, 2022. 

According to Jinapor, “Members of the press, fellow Ghanaians, to our utmost shock and dismay, but of cause as usual of this government, the PPA without any reasonable justification in granting the approval hiked the contract sum to an inflated figure of $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million United States Dollars) for a single unit when BOST could have originally constructed the twin-tower office at the original price of $39,000,000.00.  

We are firm in our conviction that this is a classic case of causing financial loss to the state. This is another PDS, Ameri and Movinpinnna scandal in the making. The energy sector under the current NPP administration has become a pollution haven for regularized corruption, inflated favouritism, and rusted nepotism.”   

The Minority spokesperson questioned, “How come a twin-tower office complex originally awarded at a cost of $39,000,000.00 has now metamorphosed into a colossal figure of $78,000,000.00 based on the current cost of the single unit is mind boggling? Why would the PPA vary the request for approval from BOST for the purchase of the single-unit building from $24,000,000.00 to an inflated figure of $39,000,000.00? Who are the people behind this outrageous deal?” 

He maintained, “From the foregoing, it is obvious some officials are culpable and neck deep in this huge scandal. We do not have any confidence in the Akufo-Addo-led Government as far as resolving this conundrum is concerned. Officialdom has demonstrated a lack of professionalism and competence in this whole debacle, as BOST has been converted into one of the milking cows.

It is our hope that for the first time, the President will gather the courage to cause an independent investigation into this scandal which is of monumental proportion, and punish his officials whose negligence, recklessness, and complicity have led us into this huge mess.”

He added, “We, the Minority in Parliament, hereby serve notice that anything short of an independent investigation shall be rejected and denounced by the NDC and the good people of Ghana. We shall remain vigilant and resolute in our quest to ensure that the continuous looting and plundering of the resources of BOST which is our collective strategic national asset is brought to an immediate halt.”

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