A fisherman and fisheries sector advocate has revealed that some middlemen are engaging in the hoarding and reselling of premix fuel in the Volta Region in the name of Municipal Chief Executives.

Victor Kekeli Dzokoto on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show said these supposed political affiliates are not fishermen, however, they want to just use the commodity to exploit poor fishermen.

“I can confidently tell you that Kovi Landing Beach, just recently, they gave out 50 gallons of premix fuel to the MCE and that has been the situation everywhere. And I don’t see why MCEs should be given fuel while the fishermen are not getting it.

“This 50 fuel given to the MCE will be hoarded and resold to us at an outrageous fee. So the yellow gallon which is 25 litres will cost ₵200 or ₵220, meanwhile, at the pump, it will be a little over ₵70 cedis,” he revealed on Tuesday.

Acknowledging that the hoarding and reselling of premix fuel is a common practice in the region, Mr Dzokoto noted the illicit practice is affecting the business of the fisher folks in the area.

But the National Premix Secretariat, Nana Asare, disputed the allegation.

According to him, MCEs of fishing communities do not have control over the distribution of premix fuel.

He insisted that the Secretariat is working earnestly to ensure that the crucial commodity is not controlled by some influential persons who will use it as a means to exploit fishermen.

“Premix fuel is in the hands of the fishers, they are responsible for its sale and distribution. But your reports of middlemen fronting for MCEs sometimes are all allegations.

“But there are times the landing beach committee themselves connive with these middlemen, sell to them in the name of political heads and we have educated them several times against that but the act still persists,” he opined.

Conversation on the distribution of premix fuel has resurrected after a JoyNews investigations uncovered how politically connected individuals and a smuggling cartel in the Central and Volta Regions hoard and re-sell premix fuel to fishermen at exorbitant prices.

Premix fuel is supposed to be sold to fishermen for a little over ¢7 but is being dished out to them at ¢20 a litre.

The investigations further revealed how the operations of the cartels also created an artificial shortage of the commodity at the landing beaches along the coast of Ghana.

When the issue was first publicised by JoyNews in 2019, it got the attention of government.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, three years ago, promised to digitise the distribution of the government’s subsidised premix to rid the supply chain of middlemen.

President Akufo-Addo also made a firm promise towards reforms and the introduction of new moves aimed at resolving the problems.

Despite the President’s affirmation, the teething challenges lingered on.