The Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has revealed that $2.5 million worth of crude condensate has gone missing from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). The Minister disclosed that his outfit secured a new business opportunity for the company in the premix fuel sector, but the funds have been lost and remain unaccounted for. The Minister expressed his concern, stating that the losses could break the back of the government. The refinery has a debt of over $500 million, and the Minister set up a committee that worked for eight months to reconcile TOR losses but has not made any headway.
The workers of the Tema Oil Refinery have called for the dismissal of their Managing Director, Jerry K. Hinson, over allegations made against him. However, Mr. Hinson has warned that any worker who participates in illegal strike action or picketing will be dealt with according to the law. The General Transport Petroleum Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) has also announced its intention to embark on a series of actions in support of their call for the revamping of TOR. The industrial action will precede the May Day celebrations, and the workers plan to picket at the Jubilee House, the Ministry of Energy, and other strategic locations.
The Energy Minister has assured Ghanaians that the government is doing all it can to revive the refinery. He stated that several proposals were lying up in the refinery, SIGA, Attorney General, and Finance Ministry, and all have been considered to get it right. However, getting it right is a difficult proposition, and the government is working diligently to achieve the best outcome. The Minister emphasized that taxpayers’ money should not go down the drain, and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure efficient running of the country.
The situation at the Tema Oil Refinery highlights the importance of accountability and efficiency in government institutions. The losses at the refinery are unacceptable and must be resolved, and the workers’ concerns must be addressed. The government’s commitment to resolving the issues is encouraging, but action must be taken to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. All stakeholders must work together to revive the refinery and put it on a path to success.