The Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors has parried allegations of fraud levelled against them based on an audit prepared by Ernst and Young (E&Y), a renowned international accounting firm, of their business dealings with the Bulk Oil Storage Company (BOST).
E & Y's comprehensive audit report from 2006, published in the pro-government Daily Post newspaper and Thursday's Edition of the state-owned Daliy Graphic, reveals massive corruption occasioned by collusion among past and present senior BOST officials, some of whom still hold sensitive positions at the various departments, and officials of 16 bulk oil distribution companies (BDCs).
The report also indicates that the BCD’s rather owe BOST and in effect government.
The pro-government newspaper on the other hand published that it has "managed to intercept" a "tape of a shocking confession by no less a person than Senyo Hosi, the Boss of BDCs and his gang at a committee believed to have been set up by government to investigate fraud, arm twisting and collusion in the operations of BOST."
The Daily Post claimed "on the tape, Senyo Hosi and his colleagues were heard confessing that they sometimes lobby, including paying various sums of cash to influence processes at BOST."
According to the publication, "Senyo was heard banging the table in his confession when he said that anyone in the business who denied the existence of the bribery and collusion was a hypocrite".
"They admitted that, the amount of bribe paid usually depends on the level of need. One, however, admitted paying Ghc10,000 sometimes to the officers at the depot. The confession and the final report of the investigations launched at the behest of the President showed how the state, thanked to some public servants at BOST in collusion with the BDCs has led to the loss of millions of Ghana cedis to the state," the publication added.
But the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), in a statement issued hours after the publication described the report as “completely false”.
Chief Executive of the CBOD, Senyo Hosi, who signed the statement said he has "every reason to suggest that none of the words reflect on any audit yet to be commissioned.”
He stressed that it would be impossible for the BDCs to overdraw from BOST under the period the disputed draft audit report claimed, and pointing out that BOST had no strategic stock throughout the period in question and the BDCs have served as strategic reserve.
Senyo Hosi appealed to "all BDCs, oil financing banks and the public to remain calm in the face of these unfounded allegations.”
Read a copy of the statement below
RE: ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE: MASSIVE FRAUD EXPOSED --- BOST OFFICIALS, BDCs CITED.
RE: BDCs CONFESS TO COLLUSION WITH PUBLIC SERVANTS AT BOST TO LOOT STATE COFFERS
It has come to the attention of the Management and Board of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) a publication on the front page of the Daily Graphic and Daily Post on Thursday, 23rd April, 2015, and captioned as above.
To the extent that the allegations contained in the publication are completely false, and impute serious criminal conduct to unnamed Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, CBOD is giving it the seriousness it deserves. It must be noted unambiguously that:
1. There has been no fraud on the part of industry in our dealings with BOST.
2. Neither has industry connived with any officials to loot the coffers of the State.
3. There are no confessions to any collusion to loot coffers of the State.
The attempt by perpetrators of the story to blend voice recordings of evidence given in camera at sittings by a committee set up by the Energy Ministry, to look into complaints by BDCs against some BOST officials, held 3 yrs ago, with an unrelated stock reconciliation audit is most disingenuous and unfortunate.
The Board in consultation with management has resolved to organize a press conference on Monday, April 27th, 2015 to address the allegations of fraud.
We are by this appealing to all Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, oil financing banks and the public to remain calm in the face of these unfounded allegations.
Thank you and God Bless Our Homeland Ghana!
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