The National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG) has asked the Fisheries Commission to allow the Oil Marketing Companies to supply premix fuel directly to members.
Mr Richster Nii Armah Amarfio, the NAFAG Secretary, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that allowing operators to buy directly from the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) would eliminate middlemen and prevent hoarding to create shortages.
“Government must make sure the pre-mix is supplied only to the premix committees in the various landing beaches, which are headed by the chief fishermen, and not any other person,” he said.
He said increasing the price of the fuel was not the issue, but the real challenge was the middlemen, who created an artificial shortage.
“The premix cartel must be eliminated to ensure that the industry gets the fuel directly from the OMCs at the right quantities and prices,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nii Ashitey Odametey, the Tema Awudum Chief Fisherman, said the unavailability of premix fuel for the past six months had escalated the financial hardship of the youth at Tema New Town.
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to supply the fuel to the landing beaches to ensure the youth embarked on their fishing activities to secure their daily bread.
Nii Adjeirteh Quaye, the Vice President of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana, corroborated the unemployment among the youth whose dependence on fishing had been hampered due to unavailability of premix fuel.
The situation had affected business with only 300 canoes operating at the Tema Canoe Beach out of the 1000 canoes registered.
He disclosed that he had to buy four drums of petrol and engine oil at GHC3,200 per drum to enable him to carry out his fishing activities and be in business, a situation he described as unfortunate, as he would be compelled to pass on the cost to the consumer.