The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) has denied reports that it is responsible for importing manganese-laden gasoline into Ghana under the controversial 'Gold for Oil' policy.
This comes in response to reports that vehicles across the country are experiencing performance issues linked to elevated levels of manganese in fuel.
This has garnered reactions from some sections of the public who are of the belief that the current high manganese content in gasoline is a result of the oil deal, in which Ghana imported fuel from Russia, which wasn’t so at first.
"So, in summary, #Gold4Oil has government buying fuel from Russia. Russia fuel has a high manganese content of 18 g/l, which is causing various problems to your cars. So yes, you will buy cheaper fuel, but you will use more than your saved cash to do repairs," media practitioner Edem Kojo of Accra-based GHOne TV noted via X.
Bright Simons, Vice President of Policy Think Tank IMANI Africa, observed, "Ghana's gasoline/petrol and diesel regulator, NPA, says fuels being imported into Ghana nowadays have too much manganese. But they don't say what has changed. Historically, Ghana imported most of its fuels from markets that ban or heavily limit manganese. Then "Gold 4 Oil" came."
Prior to the blame on social media, the National Petroleum Authority acknowledged complaints from motorists about reduced engine performance and identified higher manganese content as the cause.
In reaction on Monday, November 27, BOST said "We wish to state unequivocally that, we have not imported any product under the policy which is off the specifications per the regulations of the NPA and the product specifications of the GSA."
BOST, which handles fuel imports under the 'Gold for Oil' deal, added that "None of our 23 cargoes [imported] has failed the quality test as carried out by the GSA."
The company urged the public to "disregard the claims of our detractors regarding the importation of manganese-laden fuel."
It maintained that it will continue importing fuel "from safe sources without compromising on quality standards."
BOST maintains the 'Gold for Oil' policy is helping stabilize fuel prices and reduce demand for dollars despite criticism that it has brought higher manganese gasoline into Ghana.