The rift, which had been simmering between the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) and Tanker Owners Association of Ghana, is gradually turning into a national security threat, as the transporters have vowed to ground all their 3,500 bulk road vehicles (BRV’s) if their grievances are not addressed.
The conflict started when BOST decided to unilaterally abrogate the existing process for the haulage of petroleum products by the tanker owners, who are certified by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
The contract has reportedly been given to middle men, who are to hire the tanker owners to haul the products.
Among these middle men is A-Plus, a musician whose company – Global Group – has been handed a contract to haul petroleum products. A-Plus admitted in a telephone conversation over the weekend that his company had been handed a contract to haul petroleum products. He, however, insisted that his company was registered last year.
The tanker owners, who spoke to The Chronicle, said most of the companies that have been registered to haul the products have no industry experience, and that the arbitrary decision by BOST would only compound diversion of products, which the government is currently fighting.
Sources at BOST confirmed the tanker owners’ apprehension that there were no BRV inspections, as mandated by law, and no yard or premises examinations to ensure strict compliance among others.
Also, a disturbing revelation is goods in transit and vehicle comprehensive insurance, in line with BOST regulations, have also been flouted. To aggravate the situation, the new transporters are not registered and recognised per NPA law, while the contracts were signed without due diligence.