SoNA 2018: Premix diversions halted – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has stated that premix fuel diversions have been curtailed in order to boost the fishing industry.
“We have also instituted measures to avert premix diversions, and strict auditing of landing beaches are in place. I can state that since November, there has been no report of premix diversion, a marked improvement from the past,” Mr Akufo-Addo said in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, February 8.
President Akufo-Addo further explained that: “More effective measures are being taken against illegal, unreported and unregulated methods of fishing”.
“This past year, we made sure that the close season was respected not just by the industrial tuna vessels, but, also, by the trawlers. We will adhere to this policy for the foreseeable future, which should help us replenish our depleted stocks.
“We have identified 100 dams in five regions across the country – Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Volta and Western – and stocked them with fingerlings. This is the start of big things to come,” he concluded.
At least 200 cases of premix fuel diversions were recorded in the country since January 2017.
Nii Abeo Kyerekwandah, Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, observed that the most recent sandal that has plagued the transportation of premix fuel to the fishing communities, is the worst ever in the history of Ghana.
According to him, although there have been diversion of premix fuel in the past, the magnitude of the diversions in the last case was mindboggling and shocking.
It recently emerged that about 200 trucks loaded with premix fuel were diverted.
According to reports, in January 2017 about 148,000 litres of premix were diverted. In February, 54,000 liters; April, 297,000 litres; May 364,000 litres; June, 270,000; July, 459,000 litres; August, 648,000 litres and October, 1,107,000 litres.
Speaking on this development in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of the Ghana Yensom show on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 30 November, Nii Kyerekwandah called for immediate investigations to be conducted into the circumstances that led to the diversions.
“This is the worst scandal ever to hit premix fuel [distribution] for the past 10 years,” he said.
He added: “An immediate step or investigation will need to be conducted into the matter in order to deal with the situation.”
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC-GH) also charged the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to introduce stiffer punishment for culprits who divert premix fuel.