The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms Elizabeth Afoley Naa Quaye, has called on fishermen not to rush with their grievances on pre-mix fuel and other related issues to the media
Instead they should channel their grievances but to the government and the appropriate channels for quick redress.
The Minister made the call when she inaugurated the Western Regional Pre-Mix Monitoring Committee in Sekondi in the western region.
The Three member committee chaired by the Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie would among others, ensure the regular supply of pre-mix fuel in the region and help curb the diversion of the fuel.
The committee members are also to liaise with the landing beaches and the national pre-mix secretariat, monitor the distribution of pre-mix and ensure that the landing beaches complied with regulations concerning the sale and disbursement of profit, check all fraudulent activities in the distribution of Pre-mix and send monthly reports to the national secretariat on the disbursement of Pre-mix in the region.
Ms Quaye said the Ministry decided to put in place Regional Pre-mix fuel monitoring committees to help stem the diversion and smuggling of premix fuel and government was investing so much in subsidising pre-mix fuel and that it would therefore be a drain on the national purse if few individuals were allowed to divert premix fuel for their selfish interest.
According to her, pre-mix fuel was supplied to ensure ‘capture fishing’ and nothing else, adding that if the fuel was used for other purposes such as cocoa spraying, sales to filling stations, generator of Aquaculture farms amounts to hoarding and diversion and should therefore be stopped.
The Minister said there were regulations pertaining to the disbursement of pre-mix fuel and any landing beach that went contrary to it would be sanctioned, adding that very soon the various landing beach committees would conduct technical audits on the number of canoes that operate in their beaches as well as the quantity of premix fuel supplied.
Ms Quaye said her outfit would continue to resource the fisheries enforcement taskforce to fight illegal fishing in the country, noting that the presence of the taskforce has gone a long way to reduce the activities of trawler vessels in the Ghanaian waters.
She explained that the engagement of the taskforce was not to disrupt the business of fishermen or that the government hated them but that it was to save the fishing industry as well as ensure sustainable fishing .
Dr Afriyie in an addressed , pledged that the committee would work very hard to protect the public purse by helping to close all the gaps and malfeasants that lead to the hoarding and smuggling of premix fuel , stressing that the region has the longest coastal belt and everything would be done to protect it.
The regional minister said he would not shirk his responsibilities as the committee chairman and that the issues of pre-mix fuel would not be politicised under his watch.