Mr William Owuraku-Aidoo, Deputy Minister of Energy, in-charge of Power, has tasked the newly inaugurated Board of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to avoid conflict of interest.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new BOST Board in Accra, Mr Owuraku-Aidoo reminded the members that the Ministry had reposed confidence in them and therefore, they are expected to avoid conflict of interest situations and make use of their expertise to support the Management of BOST to ensure the success of the Company.
The nine member Board is under the Chairmanship of Dr Kwame Achampong-Kyei, Executive Chairman of GLICO Group.
Other members of the Board include Mr Alfred Obeng, Acting Managing Director of BOST; Mr Kamal-Deen Abdulai, Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Mr Djornobuah Alex Tetteh, Mr Desmond A. Nartey, Mrs Joyce Agyemen Attafuah, Mr John Kweku Akyene Duncan and Nana Yaw Owusu Akanuasa.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) was incorporated in December 1993 as a private limited liability company with the Government of Ghana as the sole shareholder.
Mrs Anita Lokko, Deputy Director, Legal Department of the Ministry of Energy, administered the oath of Office and Secrecy to members of the BOST Board.
Mr Owuraku-Aidoo said BOST’s primary mandate was to manage the national strategic petroleum reserve and storage as well as transport petroleum products at its depots located throughout Ghana.
“The importance of BOST’s role in Ghana’s economy and fuel security cannot be over-emphasised. The recent floods at Houston, USA, necessitating the release of a large volume of petroleum products from the country’s national strategic reserve into the market is a typical example of the importance of a national strategic petroleum reserve,” he stated.
“I must state that in the absence of a national strategic reserve, a severe incidence of destabilisation of fuel supply can bring most of a country’s economic activities to a halt and have implications for national security. Closely linked to this is the role of BOST as a market stabilizer in the downstream of Ghana’s petroleum industry,” he added.
The Deputy Minister said BOST had the duty to guarantee availability of petroleum products at reasonable prices.
He noted that once the regulation of petroleum prices had been abolished; BOST had the duty to guarantee availability of petroleum products at reasonable prices indirectly.
“There is the need to forestall the distasteful situation that Ghanaians experienced in 2014 where people, particularly drivers, had to queue for several hours to purchase scarce petroleum products at exorbitant prices. This calls for proactive measures by BOST,” he said.
He said BOST was not without challenges and that the Ministry had been supporting the Acting Managing Director to resolve the challenges, however, some of the issues outlined below were outstanding.
Mr Owuraku-Aidoo, therefore, charged the Board to use their expertise to resolve them.
He cited some of the challenges as the huge debt portfolio arising from BOST’s past operations; and the inability to keep adequate stock of the national strategic petroleum reserves, owing to lack of funds.
Others were the long delay in upgrading the depots nationwide to meet international standards and the absence of laboratories in the depots, which has created bottlenecks for the analysis of the quality of products.
He said one of the Company’s core challenges was in the area of financial performance; declaring that the Board had the responsibility to assist the Company to manage the debt stock and find innovative ways of monetizing its operations.
“I anticipate that you will work hard to assist the Management of BOST to access the Company’s share of the Energy Bond to enhance its operations,” he stated.
Dr Achampong-Kyei on behalf of his colleague Board Members thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the honour done them.
He said they would use their skills and expertise to turn the fortunes of BOST around to help accelerate Ghana’s socio-economic development.
Mr Asamoah Boateng, the Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission congratulated members of the new BOST Board upon their assumption of office.
He said the Commission would be organising training programmes for Boards and Managements of state enterprises on best international corporate governance practices and financial reporting and its analysis.