The unionised workers of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) have embarked on a demonstration at the Afram Plains depot, near the former Kpone police barrier, to pour out their grievances concerning the conduct of the Board of Directors of the company.
BOST, which boasts of being the largest bulk storage of oil in the country, with the capacity of 420 million litres built with the tax payers' money, is dwindling and affecting the economy of the country due to the lack of prudent measures by the board.
The workers have, therefore, appealed to the government to immediately dissolve the board to prevent the company from collapsing, and also urgently appoint a substantive Managing Director (MD) to manage the day to day affairs of the company.
According to the workers, they had decided to lay down their tools until their plight was taken into consideration, after the authorities have come to terms with them.
To begin with, the workers made it clear that the board of the company had wasted public funds in view of the fact that currently, BOST does not have an office complex as a company since its inception in 1993, and is renting an office without a parking space for a fee of US$13,000 a month.
"Management, supported by the board, prefers to use Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) to transport products across the country, instead of using pipelines, which could be cheaper than using the road. This, they do, because it puts money in their pockets, as well as that of their surrogates," they disclosed.
Addressing a section of the media after the demonstration on Tuesday, Mr. Daniel Toah said another reason for staging the demonstration was a result of the poor utilisation of assets on the part of the board and management of the company.
With a storage facility of more than 420 million litres of oil across the country, BOST cannot boast of a single litre of product of its own, and due to the lack of efficiency by the board and management, there has not been a single purchase of fuel products for strategic reserve since 2009.
"As we speak, there is less than 20 million litres of products in the 420 million capacity storage tank. Our Bolgatanga depot, in particular, has been abandoned completely since 2009," they lamented.
Mr. Toah continued that out of a cross-country pipeline network of more than 350 kilometres, less than 20 kilometres was being utilised since 2009, when we all acknowledged that the pipeline is the least expensive mode of transportation in the oil industry.
Furthermore, pipelines from Buipe to Bolgatanga (263 kilometres), and from Tema to Akosombo (102km) have been abandoned since 2009, while at the same time, some pipeline systems are facing vandalism and theft challenges, he observed.
"Why should management build new tanks in the Afram Plains and Akosombo depots respectively, without regards to the pipelines that will not do the transportation between the tanks, is this not a clear case of inefficiency?" they asked.
BOST built four new barges to convey products from Akosombo to Buipe in an effort to exploit a cheaper means of transport, and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) directed management of BOST to hand over the barges to the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC) without due diligence on the repercussions that would befall BOST.
Since 2009, the workers conditions of service have not been signed and implemented, although it has been reviewed, together with the management and Trades Union Congress (TUC).
This has rendered the workers insecure, in terms of welfare promotion, Mr. Toah noted, adding personnel who have been trained by the company and have gained experience at a high cost, have left the company for greener pastures abroad.