Mills urged to intervene in premix sale
A Central Region based pressure group, “Concerned Peoples’ Forum” has expressed regret that the hopes of fishermen that premix fuel would be better managed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration and therefore massively voted it into power had turned out to be a mirage.
At a press conference to outline concerns raised by fishermen on the administration of the fuel in fishing communities, Mr. Isaac Newton Dick, the organizer of the group, said fishermen are now worse off than before because they are allegedly being cheated by some committee members at the landing beaches.
He alleged that apart from illegally increasing the price of the fuel, some members of the committees buy the bulk of the consignment meant for the landing beaches and later re-sell to fishermen at GH¢40.00 instead of GH¢2.50 after creating artificial shortages.
Mr Dick further alleged that a gallon of premix, which is to be sold for GH¢2.50, has been increased to Gh¢ 2.70 in all the landing beaches and inquiries made revealed that the fishermen were not consulted before the increment was effected as stipulated by the premix policy.
He said it was only the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that has the right to determine the price of premix and in the case of any extra charge on the fuel, fishermen are to meet and arrive at a decision but if one person disagrees, it is not to be effected.
He also questioned the rational behind the sale of coupons at five Ghana cedis on every drum of premix fuel purchased at Cape Coast, Abandze and Moree and added that it was not so previously and must be scrapped.
Mr Dick said another issue of concern was that by the premix policy, the chief fisherman is the chairman of the landing beach committee but unfortunately most of them have been sacked because they were against the illegal pricing.
He said the chief fishermen of Elmina, Winneba, Ekon, Cape Coast, Gomoa Feteh and Moree have all fallen victim for speaking against the illegal increment and asked who the extra 20 pesewa being charged on each gallon of the commodity goes to.
Mr Dick said fishermen were promised transparency in the selection of the members of the various landing beach committees but this has turned out to be the opposite.
He appealed to President John Atta Mills to intervene in the matter and threatened that members of the group will hit the streets after 31 days if no positive action was taken to help better the lives of fishermen as promised.
Mr Dick said the Concerned Peoples’ Forum will assert itself to ensure that economic, social, environmental and political issues were brought to the fore to keep the government of the day on its toes.
A group of fishermen who were present at the press conference expressed their disappointment at the turn of events and stressed that life has become unbearable for them as a result of the increment and the attitude of some committee members in their areas.
They explained that after the members had allegedly bought large quantities of premix for themselves, the rest of them had to join long queues for days and sometimes the fuel run out before it gets to their turn.
The fishermen who are from Moree, Elmina, Cape Coast and other fishing communities alleged that they are compelled to buy the fuel at GH¢40.00 from members of the landing beach committees and stressed that if nothing was done about their predicament they would advice themselves.