The Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has disclosed that some $2.5 million worth of crude condensate has gone missing at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
The Minister explains that his outfit secured a deal for the company in the premix sector but $2.5 million has been lost and left unaccounted for.
“I gave TOR a new business opportunity in the premix fuel market that all the condensate from Ghana Gas should be used for blending premix fuel. The last time I heard, Over 2.5 million dollars worth of condensate had gone missing from TOR. If we all want TOR working, and we don’t want another ECG in TOR, [we should do the right thing else] it will break the back of government”.
“TOR has over $500 million worth of debt sitting on its books and go and look at how the debt is accumulated– people bring their crude to refine and then they record crude losses.”
The Minister said he set up a committee that worked for 8 months to reconcile TOR losses but has not made any headway.
“You don’t pay taxes for it to go down the drain. You pay taxes for an efficient running of government. The government, I can tell you, is doing so much work to bring TOR to work. There are proposals lying up in TOR, SIGA, Attorney General, and Finance Ministry all having a look. Getting it right is a difficult proposition we are working on. And we will work diligently to get Ghanaians what is good,” the Energy Minister added.
His comment follows an appeal by workers to the government to revive the refinery.
Reacting to this, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the government is doing all it can to revive the company.
Meanwhile, workers of the Refinery are demanding the dismissal of their Managing Director, Jerry K. Hinson over allegations made against him.
“If people are not doing the right thing, they are supposed to be fired, I’m surprised the CEO is still even in office and the Minister is saying this. If you are a CEO, it is your responsibility to ensure that the place is run efficiently. If it turns out that the duty that they give to you is to make money for the refinery and you are not able to do. I think the Minister should fire the MD and dissolve the board. So there is clear evidence that staff is doing things that are not right. Why are you not going after them, why are you not putting in measures? the private entities are doing it right, why are we not doing it as government entity?” Bernard Owusu Chairman of the General Transport and Chemical Workers Union asked.
The General Transport Petroleum Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) on Tuesday, April 18 announced its intention to embark on a series of actions supporting its call for the revamping of TOR.
At a press conference at the forecourt of TOR, Mr. Bernard Owusu, National Chairman of GTPCWU, said the industrial action would precede the May Day celebrations.
He added that the workers’ plan to picket at the Jubilee House, the Ministry of Energy, and other strategic locations after meetings with management and government officials yielded no result.
But the Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery, Jerry K. Hinson, described attempts by some workers of the company to embark on industrial action as unlawful.
In a letter to the workers, Mr. Hinson warned that any worker who participates in the illegal strike action or picketing will be dealt with according to the laws.
In the letter to the workers, the TOR MD reminded workers that various procedures to address their challenges and grievances have not been exhausted, hence any attempt to embark on industrial action is unlawful and a breach of the Labour Act.
“Kindly be aware of the illegality of any such actions under clauses 168- 1 71 of the Labour Act and the consequences thereunder for participants/staff involved. Please be aware of section 171 in particular which emphasizes the term “picketing” which is only lawful in furtherance of a lawful strike/industrial action.”
“Kindly be advised finally that participation of staff in any illegal action or picketing or indeed any act that purports to disrupt the activities of the Company or possibly undermine the authority of the Shareholder will be subjected to the prescribed ramifications under the relevant laws.”