The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congres (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of politicising the distribution of premix fuel to fisherfolk.
The former president feels the NPP distributes the fuel to its party members who hoard the product and sell them later at exorbitant prices.
Speaking at a meeting with some fishmongers from various fishing communities in the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Mahama concluded that government was not making the most of landing beach committees.
But he assured that the next NDC government will tackle the challenges with premix distribution.
“From our interactions, it is obvious that the NPP government is not engaging the landing beach committees. The NPP has rather put their party members in charge of premix fuel and they are profiting from the sales.”
“We have heard all your concerns; issues with Chinese trawlers, light fishing, closed season and the lack of cold stores. We will address all these issues when we come into power,” Mahama assured.
Allegations of favouritism on partisan lines compelled the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe to refute allegations that his outfit is selling premix fuel to fishermen on party lines.
Some fishermen have complained that officials in charge of selling premix fuel sell it mostly to pro-NPP fishermen who hoard the product and sell it to the rest of them at higher prices.
Because of the perennial challenges with premix fuel distribution, Vice President Dr. Bawumia in July 2019 announced that government had begun processes to digitize the distribution of both premix fuel and fertilizer to address the confusion.
The government is now set to introduce a Canoe Identification Card to curb premix fuel diversion.
Premix fuel will only be distributed to fishermen who have registered their canoes and vessels with the Ministry of Aquaculture, and have been issued with Canoe Identification Cards.