GH¢40.5m BOST money used to fuel Ghana Armed Forces – MP hints

By Clement Edward Kumsah

Member of Parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa, has disclosed that some GH¢40.5 million of money belonging to the BOST which was transferred to an account of then-Chief of Staff Julius Debrah in the Mahama administration, was used to buy fuel for the military.

Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu was yesterday petitioned to question the former President John Mahama and his then-Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah.

The petitioners, who are part of a group known as the Centre for National Affairs, want the two investigated over an alleged transfer of over GHc40 million from Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to the presidency between August 2015 and early January 2017.

However, in statement from the NDC Member of Parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa explained  “Over the years, the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) had an arrangement to supply fuel to the Military. Unfortunately, the military have not been able to keep to their side of the bargain in ensuring that timely payments are made for these product. The level of indebtedness had risen to a point that the BDCs stopped supplying fuel to them.

“At this point, the state had to intervene and allow BOST, who had and still has the responsibility to ensure and assure fuel security in the country, to assume the supply of fuel products to the military.

Mahama and Julius Debrah to face Martin Amidu over GHc40m BOST cash

“After the company had made a number of regular monthly supplies, probably in the region of 6 or 7 months, its attention was drawn to the fact that it was not an OMC. As such, BOST could not supply fuel directly to the security agencies. BOST, therefore, entered into an arrangement with GOIL, an OMC, where fuel was supplied to the security agencies via Go Energy and GOIL.

“It is important to note that BOST was already supplying products to GOIL through the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Programme initiated somewhere in 2015. This was a programme where BOST engaged in limited trading. The main off-taker of the products of BOST was GOIL.

“The arrangement was that BOST will supply fuel to GOIL and they will in turn supply to the Military.

“Once again the military started defaulting on their payments to GOIL and as a consequence, GOIL was also not meeting their payments to BOST. At this point, all the stakeholders realised that the military had a financing problem.

“Therefore, a decision was made that under the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Programme which had only GOIL as the off-taker, a cost item named ‘securities’ be introduced in the cost build-up for the products lifted by GOIL from BOST. This cost item was five (5) pesewas per litre. And this was to be used to pay for the cost of fuel to selected security services including the military. It was also to cater for other operational needs of the presidency. For instance, the fueling of the presidential jet.

“The management of BOST, thus, ensured that all approvals were obtained from the board to allow them put 5 pesewas per litre on top of all sales made by the company out of the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Programme. Suffice it to say that approvals were granted at all levels to protect the legitimacy of the transaction.

“So, it is understandable that oil companies will deny any 40.5 million payment that ended up in the chief of Staff's office. This is because they were not part of the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Programme”, the statement said.

Read Edward Bawa’s  statement