Chief Fishermen in the southern part of the Volta Region have warmed MMDCEs to stop interfering in the sale of premix fuel.

The warning was issued after all the 32 Chief Fishermen met at a pumping station to deliberate on issues affecting the coastal areas and the possible ways to have them resolved.

A fight broke after a disagreement between the two parties on how best to make sure that the fuel is sold only to the beneficiaries.

In an interview with the Volta Regional PRO, Torgbui Emmanuel Anomoo Tettey, he said MMDCEs have for some years now interfered and are making business with the premix fuel meant to help fishermen in the southern Volta difficult. He added that the MMDCEs have been warned to stay clear of the sale of the fuel.

Torgbui Emmanuel Anomoo Tettey noted that even the distribution of nets and out-board motors has also become a big problem because it is mostly distributed to families and friends.

He alleged that the interference of some MMDCEs and middlemen has made it very difficult for poor fishermen to have access to the fuel due to the hoarding and reselling of the premix fuel.

"This issue is really annoying and getting out of control and needs government's urgent action across all the affected areas, " he said.

He noted that the issue, if not addressed, will eventually destroy the business of the poor fishermen in the coastal areas.

Torgbui Tettey in this regard stated that, all chairmen shall submit the list of registered canoes under their jurisdiction for inspection by the monitoring team and that no chairman shall start selling the premix without due process and without the monitoring team.

On his part, a boat owner and member of the national committee, Vance Koku Adedze also said it is necessary to bring to the attention of Fisheries Stakeholders and the general public that the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council has resolved to establish and implement a monitoring and surveillance team to ensure equal distribution of premix fuel at the various Landing Beaches.

“It is much pleasure of GNCFC, Volta Chapter to extend their warmest greetings to all, especially, and the fisheries fraternity,” he said.

Mr Adedze noted that the Council, as the mother of all fishers and fisheries associations, is poised to complain about a few anomalies in the fisheries sector.

“On this very note, it is about the sale and distribution of premix fuel to the council members and that upon deliberations by all chief fishermen at Adina in Ketu-South Municipality in the Volta Region dated Wednesday, August 31, 2022, led by the Chairman, Togbui Seth Abotsi has resolved to institute the following measures; that the L.I. binding the formation, sale and distribution of the premix fuel has not changed.”

Mr Adeze noted that the sale of premix fuel shall be monitored by the Council to ensure equitable and equal distribution, all chairmen of the LBC (Chief Fishermen) must work hand-in-hand with the monitoring team for effective evaluation and all chief fishermen close to the selling points are part of the monitoring team and records will be taken at all selling points about the number of purchase and quantity.

The MCE for Keta, Mr. Emmanuel Gemegah when contacted on the allegations made by the people, said he is innocent of the accusations levelled against him. Mr Gemegah who gave out a report written by him on the sale premix fuel said that he realised people were hoarding premix fuel and the Committee was not rendering accounts hence made moves to make sure that the quarterly accounts by the Committee are prepared.

This, according to him, made the people angry and started accusing him of things he had no knowledge of.

Mr. Gemegah noted that some fishermen who own about six boats and nets with the largest numbers of workers came to his office to complain to him that they were not able to have access to the premix fuel meant for people like him to buy.

He noted that an agreement was made to give one of the fishermen who owns a boat by name Discover, 40 gallons of fuel anytime the fuel is being sold.

He noted that this became an issue because he was accused of being the one buying the 40 gallons of premix fuel when he doesn't have anything to do with fishing.

"We had a meeting with the fisherman and boat owner, Discover and the chief fishermen as well as all-parties involved and came to an agreement to sell 40 gallons of fuel to 'Discover' which made the chief fishermen angry and started accusing me of being the one buying the fuel,” Gemegah said.

Mr. Gemegah noted that he will make sure that the politicization of the sale of the premix fuel is stopped and the right thing is done to enable the right beneficiaries to have equal access to the distribution of the fuel.

He stated that there is the need for all stakeholders to help bring sanity to the sale of premix fuel in the southern Volta to help government achieve its aim of making sure that fishermen have enough fuel for their fishing activities.

Residents hope this issue is resolved as soon as possible to make things easier for all parties involved.

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