Gov’t to subject BOST to Forensic Audit; Energy Minister promises major shakeup

Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu

Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, has said the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company’s (BOST) activities in the last five years, will be subjected to a forensic audit.

Instructively, BOST’s operations from 2013 to 2018 will be forensically audited.

The move, the Minister said will be followed by a major shakeup, which is part of plans to transform the company.

A recent Presidential Committee set up to investigate activities of BOST with regard to payments made to Spring Field Energy, revealed that, 16 Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) were responsible for product losses between 2013-2016, amounting to US$44 million.

At a press briefing about current happenings in the Energy Sector in Accra, the Minister disclosed, “government has decided to that given the extent of financial recklessness found by the Committee, a forensic audit will be launched into BOST’s activities in the last five years.”

The audit is expected to ensure that persons who are found culpable, face the full rigors of the law, with recommendations for restructuring BOST’s management, operations and financial activities.

“The causes of such product losses will be established to determine where they’ve been taken to, those who loaded them, financial receipts and how the funds were used,” John Peter Amewu pointed out.

Since 2013, BOST has been going through financial crises due to mounting debts and other administrative challenges.

The merger of BOST and TOR (Tema Oil Refinery) with the same Managing Director is cited as one of the reasons for the poor performance of the two entities, as corporate governance structures of the two companies, were compromised.

Other activities that led to BOST’s poor performance were the unprofitable tolling arrangement of US$5.5/MT with TOR compared to the international average tolling fee of US$3.5/MT between 2015 and 2016.

Other challenges included the lower than expected yield from crude oil, receivables which were used to pay TOR debts due to the alliance between the two companies and several other setbacks.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe