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BOST Union calls for dissolution of Board

BY: Arku Jasmine

The unionized staff of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) Limited, has called on government to immediately dissolve the  Board of Directors of the Company for poor management.

Consequently, the workers  have declared an indefinite strike action to back their demand for the dissolution of the Board,  headed by Alhaji Hudu Yahya.

In a statement, Mr Daniel Toah, Union Secretary of the Company, accused the Board of poor management, and said “the only largest bulk storage for the country which has a capacity of 420 million litres built with tax-payers’ money, is dwindling and is affecting the economy of this country, due to lack of prudent measures by the Board of Directors of the Company.”

He said the Management had failed to exercise its day-to-day responsibility of increasing shareholder’s wealth under the "watchful eyes of the Board."

He added that since the inception of the Company in 1993, it had operated from rented premises at a cost of 13,000 dollars per month.

The Union Secretary stated that even though the pipeline was the least expensive mode of transportation in the oil industry, management with the support of the Board preferred using Bulk Road Vehicles to transport products across the country.

He  lamented over  the inefficient utilization of the company’s assets, noting that even though BOST had a huge storage capacity, there had not been a single purchase of fuel product for storage reserve since 2009.

“As I speak, there is less than 20 million litres of product in the 420-million-capacity storage tank. Our Bolgatanga depot in particular, has been abandoned completely since 2009.”

Mr Toah added that with a cross-country pipeline network of more than 350 kilometers, less than 20 kilometers was being utilized since 2009, adding that pipe lines from Buipe to Bolga and from Tema to Akosombo had also been abandoned.

Another issue raised by the unionized staff was a  directive from the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority for BOST to hand over to the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC), its newly built four barges meant to convey products from Akosombo to Buipe.

They regretted that  two of such barges  handed over to the VLTC last year had been grounded due to lack of maintenance.

Mr Toah said the conditions of service of the unionized staff had not been signed and implemented, although it had been reviewed together with management and the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).

He indicated that this had rendered the workers insecure in terms of welfare promotions, leading to some employees leaving the company even though they were trained by the company.

They therefore called on the Minister of Energy to make public, the report from the committee which was set up by him to investigate a case of impropriety at BOST.

They also appealed to government to ensure as a matter of urgency, the recapitalization of BOST, and re-stocking of BOST with adequate fuel for strategic purposes.

The statement also appealed to the sector Minister to ensure that all the assets of the company including its pipelines, tanks and barges were put to efficient use.

“Unionized members are calling on the Honorable Minister and the President, to appoint for BOST a substantive Managing Director, and a new Board of Directors to save the company”, they stated.

Source: GNA