General News of 2014-06-28

"Gov’t must resource TOR to avoid embarrassment

Institutions of state were established to carry out specifically mandated duties. However, in the case of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), the story is different.

Originally known as the Ghanaian Italian Petroleum (GHAIP) Company and incorporated as a private limited liability company under the Companies Ordinance (Cap 193) on December 12, 1960, it is decreed to process crude oil and market petroleum products.

In an exclusive interview with The Informer, a very worried worker of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has blamed the current acute fuel shortage following the action of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) on Government.

Without mincing words, the source said, the present-day embarrassment suffered by Government regarding the BDCs decision is as a result of government’s failure to adequately resource the only refinery in the country - TOR, which is presently producing under capacity.

“Deliberately or whatsoever, government has refused to resource TOR to enable it carry out its core function of processing crude oil for onward-sale to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and had allowed the BDCs to take over the operations of TOR,” the source indicated.

“TOR has eventually become a white elephant due to lack of resources to effectively operate,” the concerned NPA worker added.

According to the source, the action by the BDCs is a complete sabotage to make the Mahama administration unpopular, which unfortunately has been blessed by some unscrupulous individuals at the NPA.

Asked who the individuals are, he said “I will not mention names for now; but I can tell you on authority that some officials in the employment of NPA are in cohort with the BDCs to do the government in”.

“If this is not a clear sabotage, why should NPA refuse the Bulk Oil Storage & Transportation (BOST) Company Limited the permit to release unto the market some of its stocks to mitigate the current fuel shortage state of affairs which is embarrassing to government,” the source unequivocally pointed out.

“Government, as a matter of urgency, must resource TOR to enable it operate in full capacity, if Government wants to save itself from further embarrassment in the hands of the BDCs,” the source concludes.

However, credible checks conducted indicate that, of the twenty-one (21) BDCs currently operating, not even half can boast of a storage facility; a requirement that the NPA should insist on before approval for operation.

From the sterling revelations, it therefore stands to question whether the NPA is serving the interest of government or the BDCs.

The BDCs according to reports, claim the Government of Ghana owes them Ghc 1.8 billion, hence their inability to get supplies from their international partners.