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27.10.2005 Regional News

Ministry urged to expedite reconstitution of premix-fuel Secretariat

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Cape Coast, Oct.27, GNA - Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed, Central Regional Co-ordinator of premix fuel, on Wednesday appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries to expedite action on the reconstitution of the membership of the National Premix-fuel Secretariat, to ensure the equitable distribution of premix-fuel in the country. He said due to the absence of an effective and efficient operating Secretariat, Oil Marketing Companies (OMC), decide where their products should be discharged making it difficult to control and monitor activities of tanker drivers.

Alhaji Mohammed, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Cape Coast, said the situation had resulted in the inefficient distribution of fuel and created an avenue for diversion and shortage in some fishing communities.

He pointed out that some of the drivers were engaged in 'mass siphoning of fuel' resulting in the creation of shortages in many fishing communities in the Region.

Alhaji Mohammed said fuel shortages had occurred at Elmina, Moree and British Komenda, alleging that much of the fuel was being diverted to cocoa spraying gangs, chain saw operators and motor riders. He noted that with the reconstitution of the Secretariat, it would ensure that all local premix-fuel Committee Chairmen were represented to help control and supervise its distribution.

Alhaji Mohammed appealed to the Management of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and other OMC's to endeavour to provide fishermen with enough premix-fuel to eliminate middlemen who sell premix-fuel at 25,000 cedis a gallon instead of 20,000 cedis.

He disclosed that six tanker drivers arrested at Cape Coast, Ekon and Moree and would be prosecuted soon and warned that anyone caught would also be prosecuted.

Mr Kobina Aggrey, Chairman of the Oguaa Fishermen's Association, called on the Government to subsidize and supply enough fishing inputs to enhance their work.

He regretted that most of the inputs supplied to fishermen within the Municipality were supplied late and also inadequate. Mr Aggrey said only five outboard motors instead of 15 were supplied at Cape Coast in October instead of July the peak season in fishing.

He expressed concern about the non-existence of a branch of the Ghana National Farmers and Fishermen's Association in the Region to cater for the welfare of farmers and fishermen and urged the national association, to help address the situation. 27 Oct.05

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