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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mismanagement and nepotism causes of petrol shortages- NPP

Alex Mould, Acting boss NPA
Alex Mould, Acting boss NPA
The New Patriotic Party has blamed the shortage of petroleum products in parts of the country to nepotism and mismanagement of the petroleum sector.

There has been the shortage of premix fuel over the past few months with fishers threatening to hit the streets if government fails to meet their grievances.

Last month, parts of the country experienced acute shortage of fuel which led to several queues at fuel stations.

Mr. Kweku Kwarteng, Communications Director of the NPP said the rampant shortages are disrupting economic activities in the country and attributed the problem to inefficient personnel appointed by the new government.

Making specific reference to Mr. Alex Mould, Ag. Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr. Kwarteng accused government of appointing party functionaries into key positions in the energy sector; a situation he said has led to the shortages in the system.

Alex Mould is the brother of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu.

In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Kwarteng would not categorically say the NPA boss is incompetent, but wondered why the replacement of Mr. John Attafuah, immediate past CEO of the NPA has triggered strings of shortages in the system.

He contended the NPP through its hard work made shortages of petroleum products an extinct phenomenon and chided government for mismanaging the sector.

But his criticisms have drawn harsh rebuttals from government.

Deputy Energy Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has described the comments as “unfortunate, ill-informed and calculated to appeal to partisanship.”

The accusations he said “fly in the face of facts and logic.”

Dr Donkor dismissed claims that government had replaced all personnel in the previous government who held key positions in the Energy sector with people perceived to be cronies of government.

Heads of Gridco and the Energy Commission who were appointed by the Kufuor administration were still at post, he said, adding Mr Attafuah had to proceed on leave because his contract had expired.

He blamed the shortages of petroleum products to debts the government inherited from the NPP, adding “all credit lines opened for the supply of crude oil had dried up.”

He said government is taking steps to address the shortages in the system and called for a de-politicisation of the petroleum industry.

Mr. Alex Mould on his part said government is trying to bring "sanity into the petroleum sector," by paying all debts owed to the suppliers of crude oil.

Once the debts are paid fuel shortages will be history, he assured.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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