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85 Landing Beaches Closed Down In Volta Region
 
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27-Feb-2018  
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More than 85 landing beaches in the Volta Region have been closed down after failing to meet standards in an audit exercise by the National Premix Committee.

About 29 of the landing beaches are located in the coastal areas of the region, while the others are in nine districts lying along the Volta River.

The committee is conducting the exercise in all landing beaches across the country in an effort to streamline the supply of premix fuel to fishermen in only approved landing beaches.

Members of the committee believe that after the exercise, the supply of premix fuel will reduce from 220 truckloads a week to about 180 truckloads.

This means that the volume of the product will also reduce from 2.97 million litres to about 2.43 million litres. A truckload of premix fuel is about 13,500 litres.

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, who inaugurated a Regional Premix Coordinating Body for the Greater Accra Region in Accra on Monday, said the move formed part of reforms by the ministry to halt the diversion of premix fuel meant for artisanal fishermen.

Coordinating committees

The regional coordinating bodies are part of measures to clamp down on the activities of premix fuel smugglers and sanitise the distribution of the product.

Similar bodies have been inaugurated in the Brong Ahafo, Central and Volta regions.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, chairs the body which will collaborate with the Landing Beach Committees (LBCs) and the National Premix Fuel Secretariat (NPFS) to track the movement and distribution of the product.

Among other things, the body will monitor and reconcile premix fuel dispatched from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to ensure their safe delivery at designated landing beaches.

The body is also tasked to estimate the premix fuel consumption for LBCs to help in placing order to meet demand.

Reforms

Mrs Quaye said the monitoring bodies and the auditing exercise at landing beaches were part of reforms by the government to sanitise the premix fuel distribution system.

She noted that the move would ensure that landing sites that failed to meet accepted standards were closed down to check slippages.

“MOFAD is also liaising with all regional police commands to help in monitoring and arresting persons who divert premix fuel meant for fishermen to other locations or for other purposes,” she stated.

Diligence

Mr Ashitey described measures by MOFAD to deal with the diversion of premix fuel as timely and purposeful.

“The diversion of the product does not only deny the artisanal fishermen of the fuel they need to carry out their fishing activities, but it also dissipates the national purse.

“This unfortunate development is more than corruption so the monitoring team will do its best to clamp down on those involved in it,” he stressed.

The Chairman of the NPFS, Nii Lante Bannerman, said the full report of the auditing of landing beaches would be ready by next week. He added that more pragmatic steps would be taken to address the diversion of the fuel.

The diversion of premix fuel has been a perennial challenge for MOFAD and the government.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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