The managing director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Edwin Provencal, has said the company is ready to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), after revamping its revenue generating infrastructure.
Provencal made this disclosure when he took his turn on the #PatrioticSpaces of Twitter to discuss the company’s success story since taking over.
Chronicling the strategic investments and measures instituted in restoring the company to a profit-making venture, Provencal said loaded with debt due to years of managerial inefficiencies, BOST had only 18% of its revenue generating assets operational at the time of handing over.
He said the pipelines linking Tema to Akosombo, Buipe to Bolga were completely out of service as well as the company’s marine infrastructure including tug and floating boats.
“50% of our depots, that’s three out of six were not working. So, in a nutshell we had only 18% of our revenue assets working. All of our assets were grounded and yet we have to find the money to pay our debts,” he said.
Appalled by the gravity and the precariousness of BOST due to decades of mismanagement, Provencal sets to work, starting with a thorough assessment of the company’s books and infrastructural health.
And after cautiously, whipping up enthusiasm and excitement and the need to turn BOST around among his staff, Provencal would settle on two key strategies, generated through the implementation of what he called “balance scorecard framework.”
He devoted almost 150-200 hours at this framework to upscale the team, to coach and mentor them and then worked together and came up with the ‘BOST strategy’ for the next five years which the board signed up to.
The strategy was focused on two key areas – enhancing operational excellence by reviving all dead assets to life, complete all old projects and have them running at full capacity before commencing new ones. And once they are able to do that, the next key area was to aggressively grow the business.
“We also didn’t have good brand image out there because of our past, so, we have to ensure that we rebranded ourselves, build a great corporate culture based on performance. Nothing else,” Provencal said.
BOST would after five or so years of religiously implementing these strategies raise enough revenue to service its debts and prepare to take advantage of the trade area to give Ghanaians value.
“I am proud to say that as at today, we have paid off almost 98% of the US$624 million of our trade liability debt. Out of that 98% of the money paid, 70% was paid through BOST’s internally generated fund and government helped us with the other 30% through the ESLA bonds. So, we have paid off that money and it’s left with 2-3% of that money to pay,” Provencal said on the #PatrioticSpaces on Twitter hosted by Kow Essuman, counsel to President Nana Akufo-Addo.
“For the GHC416 million legacy debt, we have paid 100%. And for the US$37 million BDC claim, after a forensic audit, the claimants said we owed them only US$11 million, saving this company and this country US$26 million that was in our books as liability to these companies,” he said.
With the future in sight, Provencal and his team, fixed all the company’s pipelines, repaired 12 of the 15 tanks that had been decommissioned and as a result leveraging those assets to bring in extra income.
“I can now say confidently that almost 90% of our infrastructure are back online from a paltry 18%,” he said.
BOST can now boast of profits after tax and operational cost after five years of religiously implementing the MD’s five-year transformational plan. After 11 years of recording losses, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited made remarkable turnaround, recording GHC168.8 million profit after tax last year.