BOST Rebuts Minority Claims


Edwin Provencal, BOST CEO

THE BULK Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited has refuted padding claims by the Minority in Parliament on the contract sum of its twin-tower office space.

The Minority, led by the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, said the original contract, which was valued at $39 million, has been ballooned to $78 million.

But in a quick rebuttal, the company has denied the allegation put up by the Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu that it had inflated the cost of the twin tower head office building being constructed.

In a statement issued yesterday, the BOST management said some procurement anomalies were discovered in the initial contract signed under the erstwhile NDC administration.

According to the statement, the procurement process was not followed through by the then management of the company under the NDC government, an act that led to a value for money audit and a subsequent forensic audit which was conducted by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The statement noted that the US$39 million submitted to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval of the original contract sum as signed in 2015 was in contravention of the procurement law.

It further stated, “To request for a variation of the terms, the normal procedure required that the original contract gets approved before the variation.”

“In the year 2020, an independent valuer appointed by both parties valued the project at US$49.6 million.  The Board and Management of BOST decided to purchase one block out of the two.  The contractor valued the single block to be procured at US$23.5 million (VAT Exclusive),” the statement explained.

“A no objection was secured from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to proceed with sourcing funds to carry through the procurement of the single block.

“The ratification of the initial contract was secured on 19th May, 2022. BOST is currently occupying a rented premises and in our view, securing the single block at the US$23.5 million will help to do away with the burden of rising cost of rent in the current premises,” it added.

“The blocks are not the same in terms of the facilities they harbour. The one BOST is acquiring is customised to accommodate the staff of the company based on the corporate structure which existed at the time of the contract,” the statement indicated.

The company said the other block was intended to be rented out to raise further income for BOST.

It noted that the two blocks per the valuer’s report in 2020 cost US$49.6 million and the simplistic arithmetic of multiplying the original contract cost submitted to the PPA for ratification by two to claim the blocks cost US$78 million is simply erroneous.

“These are the facts as pertaining to the BOST Head Office building which started in 2016 and is yet to be occupied by the company,” it pinned.