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The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, COPEC, has said it believes there is a bigger cartel at the Tema Oil Refinery that is stealing state resources from Ghana’s only state refinery.
Mr Duncan Amoah’s comment follows a revelation by the Interim Management Committee of the refinery that it has interdicted some staff and investigating them for various offences, which have led to financial losses.
A statement signed by the Interim Management of the company said: “The Interim Management Committee (IMC) at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Ltd. has, as part of its ongoing mandate to conduct technical and HR audits, and also access viable business partnerships for the refinery, have concluded that consistent product and financial losses need to be eradicated completely if the Refinery is to meet its vast potential. Hence the IMC has committed to establishing a ‘zero-tolerance culture for unacceptable product losses’, commenced investigations into a number of product storage and transfer losses recorded in the company over a period of time”.
“Consequently, a number of workers who hold various positions of responsibility and accountability with respect to the transfer of products have been queried and interdicted pending the outcome of investigations”.
“The IMC however wishes to reiterate that the investigations will be carried out with due consideration to a fair process. We implore everyone to be patient and not jump to any conclusions until investigations have been completed”.
“Individuals who are found not responsible nor accountable for the financial and product losses would be fully restored while those found responsible and accountable in the chain of command (with respect to product losses during storage, movement and transfer will be dealt with accordingly”.
Below is a list of product losses at TOR, which has triggered the management action
A. The disappearance of 105, 927 litres of gasoil, which belongs to a BDC client on 4th September 2021.
B. The wrongful loading of 252,000 litres of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK) instead of regular kerosene into BRV trucks at the loading gantry between 21st and 25th September 2021.
C. The disappearance of 18 drums of electrical cables worth GHS10.4 million from the technical storehouse of TOR, discovered in April 2021.
D. The disappearance of product (LPG) belonging to a client between 2012 and 2015, as a result of which TOR was indebted to the client to the tune of USD4.8 million, as confirmed by an Ernst and Young audit.
E. The reasons why funds given by the Ministry of Finance for the payment of TOR’s debt to a project consulting firm of TOR, did not get paid to them until a garnishee order was placed on the company’s account in July 2021.
F. Issuance of unauthorised letter admitting debt liability to TOR with attendant computation of interest without the approval of IMC.
G. Loss of naphtha to a BDC client.
Commenting on the matter on Class91.3FM’s mid-day news, 12 Live on Wednesday, 6 October 2021, Mr Amoah told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie that: “These are simply criminal matters and although the IMC has done a yeoman’s job in putting this out, we believe at this point that TOR should not be left alone to investigate itself”.
“You would need a lot of the independent bodies to also go in there. I’m quite certain those interdicted may just be the scapegoats. It goes way beyond the very few names that we are seeing put there and probably being the ringleaders, who, by their negligence, or deliberate actions, led to this disappearance or losses to the refinery”.
“We believe strongly that beyond these names already put out, is a deeper ring, a bigger ring, a larger cartel that works such that anything that they can lay hands on, should go”, Mr Amoah said.