Oil drilling companies off the shores of Cape Three Points are considering importing food supplies from Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria since local ship chandlers are exploiting them.
Information available to the Daily Graphic indicates that a tin of Milo is sold to the oil drillers at $40, $25 for ketch up and the prices of yam, green pepper and other groceries all quoted in dollars.
Interestingly, a tin of Milo is sold on the local market for GH¢3.80p, ketch up GH¢2 and a tuber of yam is priced depending on the size.
The Director of the Takoradi Port, Mr Nesta Percy Galley, confirmed the concerns of the oil drillers and added that the management of the port would be holding an emergency meeting with the agents to address the problem.
He said charging $40 for a tin of Milo is abnormal and if we lose credibility and trust, the companies would move to Cote d'Ivoire or Nigeria and that would not be good news for the country.
Mr Galley added that they should remember that apart from the oil they were drilling, their operations would generate other businesses, including employment for our people hence if we sold a small bottle of ketchup for between $25 and $30 to them we must realise we would lose them in the long run.
Mr Galley said the companies were complaining about hike in prices and in order to ensure that they did not change their supply sources, the management of the port would meet the agents of the various companies to review the prices.
He, therefore, urged agents to re-orient their minds and genuinely educate the contracted chandlers to sell products at reasonable prices.
“We should be guided by the fact that we don't kill the hen that lays the golden egg in anticipation of reaping good returns at once, we must be reasonable,” he added.
Originally Kosmos Energy was said to have arranged for its food supplies from Cote d'Ivoire and other sources.
Currently Takoradi has a Mud-Plant which produces mud to lubricate the drilling process and construction of the wells, “therefore if they lift mud from Takoradi it is just in line for them to pick food and other supplies from here.”
Mr Galley expressed fears that the oil companies may change their minds if the suppliers continued to treat the oil drillers unfairly.
Story by Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu.