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Mr Kwesi Nicol, National President of the Pre-Mix Fuel Committee (PMFC), on Tuesday gave the assurance that government was streamlining the sector to remove all bottlenecks that hitherto militated against the smooth operation of the Committee. He said nation-wrecking activities such as diversion of the commodity, smuggling to neighbouring destinations, and adulterating the product to facilitate usage by vehicles and chainsaw machines, defeated the notion of subsidy.

Mr Nicol was reacting to some concerns of fishermen and other stakeholders in the fishing industry over the unavailability of pre-mix fuel and its attendant socio-economic consequences for fisher-folks and other operators in the Volta region, in a telephone interview with the supervision of the District Chief Executive, and a representative from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), among others, were now essential requirements for gaining access to the commodity.

Mr Nicol was critical about the dissolution of the Pre-Mix Committee by the Kufour-led administration in 2004 which, he said, gave birth to the irregularities in the sector and urged fisher-folks to exercise restraint while the bottlenecks were regularized to warrant government's continuous huge subsidy for efficiency and value for money. He said the PMFC, inaugurated barely a month ago, was tasked among other things, with making the commodity available at the right time, right place and at right price.

Mr Nicol said pre-mix outlets countrywide totaled 900 currently, from 128 outlets in 2001. Meanwhile, stakeholders including fisher-folks, outboard motor operators and boat owners associations along the sea coast and the Volta Lake have complained of shortage of the commodity in those areas. They alleged that only Star Oil Marketing Company was mandated to supply the commodity in those catchment areas, and said this was the cause of the entire pre-mix fuel problem.

However, Mr. Vincent Damalie, representative of the Boat Owners Association at Gemeni, said two haulers of the commodity supplied to Kpando-Torkor, Gemeni and Tapa-Abotoase. He said in the face of borrowed monies from the banks, the main problem facing the fisher-folk is the skyrocketing price of the commodity, which sells at 35 Ghana Cedis per gallon.
Source: GNA

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