Minority to launch parliamentary probe into TOR rot

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The Minority in Parliament has served notice it will begin processes and trigger the appropriate rules for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the recent scandal that has hit the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

Some staff of the Refinery have been interdicted after the Interim Management Committee (IMC) discovered “consistent product and financial losses”.

Most of these staff hold various positions of responsibility and accountability, according to the IMC, and were particularly involved in an alleged GH¢10.4 million theft of cables belonging to the Refinery.

Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, October 6, Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu Constituency John Abdulai Jinapor, who is also the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, said the situation has arisen as a result of dereliction of duty on the part of management.

“It is sad to note that the managers of the refinery failed to adequately find off-takers for the refined products before sourcing for the crude, thus rendering the products ‘stranded’ in tanks,” he said.

“This bizarre business module means the refinery made huge losses as prices kept falling on the global commodity market and giving room for siphoning of the products.

“The Minority wishes to serve notice that it will not sit unconcerned for greedy and self-seeking Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to plunge the only oil refinery in the country into comatose.”

The former Deputy Power Minister indicated that the scandal at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company is still fresh in the minds of not only the Minority MPs but many Ghanaians.

As a result, the Minority “cannot therefore trust this Government to conduct any fair, transparent and unbiased investigation”.

“We therefore wish to serve notice that we shall in the coming weeks, trigger the appropriate rules and processes for a full scale Parliamentary inquiry into this broad daylight thievery and embarrassing spectacle.”

He indicated that the erstwhile Mahama government, prior to leaving office in January, 2017, had initiated, implemented and managed the restructuring of the entire refinery operations.

He added that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) procured nine million barrels of crude to be refined including an indigenous crude from the TEN fields in Ghana.

Millions of dollars were saved by restructuring the existing debt of $650 million of TOR inherited from the previous administration, the NDC MP stated, noting that the debt was reduced by $300 million.

“As a matter of fact, the NDC/Mahama government bequeathed crude oil worth $2million including the TEN crude to the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government when we were leaving office in January 2017.

“TOR got a tolling fee on this crude oil to help finance its operations. Sadly, this crude oil was disposed off under very opaque and suspicious circumstances by the Akuffo Addo/Bawunia led NPP government.

“Additionally, the NDC/Mahama government attracted the largest single investment in the downstream industry in Ghana’s recent years for the Tema Offshore Mooring Systems, now called the Ghana Petroleum Mooring Systems (GPMS).

“An amount of $110million was brought into the TOR through this structure as at December 2016, a balance of $90million was in TOR accounts when the NDC government left office.”

He said despite these interventions, TOR incurred a loss of over $24 million.

Mr Jinapor, therefore, believes the parliamentary probe will solve all these challenges faced by the Refinery.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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