Petroleum Ministry resumes supply of premix fuel to fishers
According to the Deputy Sector Minister, Mrs Benita Sena Okiti-Duah, only trucks fitted with tracking device would be used to avoid diversion.
“In the meantime, steps are being taken to procure the requisite quantity of blue dye that would be used for production throughout the year, to avert supply disruptions of premix fuel,“ the Deputy Minister told Parliament on Friday.
She was answering a question that stood in the name of Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo that sought to know the current status of premix intervention for fishermen in the coastal regions of Ghana.
Premix fuel is a heavily subsidized petroleum product used by fishermen in the coastal and inland areas, to power outboard motors in their canoes for fishing expeditions.
The Ministry in March dissolved the national premix fuel committee with the intention to correct a few corrupt activities, including the “proliferation of Premix Fuel sale Points owned by individuals, rather than fishermen who should be the actual beneficiaries of the fuel intended for their trade.”
In a statement last March, the Ministry said the intended re-constitution of the committee would also check “rampant diversion of premix fuel from intended destinations,” a situation which creates “shortages to the disadvantage of fishermen and to the embarrassment of the Government.”
It is also meant to correct “disparity in quantity supplied and quantity invoiced,” as well as stop the “frequent, unnecessary delays in the delivery of premix fuel to designated locations across the country,” a problem that leads to “loss of income to several fishermen.”
The explanation followed Monday’s picketing by some aggrieved fishermen who stormed the Ministry to express their dissatisfaction with the dissolution of the Committee.
Mrs Okiti-Duah said steps were being taken in the meantime to procure the requisite quantity of blue dye to be used for production throughout the year to avert supply disruptions of premix fuel on the market.
“The Government’s objective to ensure the timely supply availability of premix fuel to fishermen at an affordable price is on course,” Mrs Okiti-Duah said.
She added, however, that the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development received letter last March from the Tema Oil Refinery indicating that the refinery had run out of the blue dye used in producing premix fuel.
However, TOR is arranging to import the blue dye from UK as early as possible.
“Once TOR takes delivery of the blue dye, it will take about two days for it to be blended into already prepared premix fuel,” the Deputy Minister said.