The Office of the Special Prosecutor has initiated investigations into alleged procurement breaches in a $300million National Fuel Marking Scheme contract involving three entities – Nationwide Technologies Limited, AUTHETIX and the Board of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
The Special Prosecutor has reportedly started questioning key actors as persons of interest to establish whether indeed procurement infractions did take place as alleged by a private citizen, Elikem Kotoko, who petitioned the Office to investigate the alleged corruption in the contract.
The whistleblower who petitioned the OSP argued that NPA did not follow the laid down procedures in the renewal of the over $300million contract between the authority and Nationwide Technology Limited under the National Fuel Marking Scheme.
The petitioner alleged that the contract should have passed through the UPPF Management Committee before going to the Board and a Central Tender Review Committee before the CEO and Legal Department could take steps to renew the contract.
The OSP is therefore investigating whether the renewal of the multimillion contract violated the Public Procurement Act and remedies if any.
At a monthly fee estimated to be around $12.5million, Nationwide Technologies and its partner company AUTHENTIX administer the NPA’s Fuel marking system which ensures fuel released into the Ghanaian market is standardized and not adulterated.
Fuel Marking involves the introduction of a unique bio-chemical liquid in trace quantities into petroleum products at fuel depots before distribution to the market. The marker creates a “finger print” and provides a secure, tamper-proof method of authentication. Marked fuel can be distinguished from unmarked fuel through a process of testing using specialized detecting equipment.