Honorary Vice President of IMANI –Africa, Bright Simons has questioned whether the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Torentco partnership will help solve the TOR’s fundamental issues.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, he said the Oil Refinery is faced with two major challenges, which is that it is broke and not trustworthy.
According to him, the Ghana Commercial Bank also nearly collapsed a decade ago due to TOR’s lack of funding issues.
He added that the over a billion dollars generated from special taxes and levies for TOR have been misapplied.
This, according to him is due to cronyism, political interference and poor governance.
As a result of the aforementioned issues, Mr Simons says “we have a situation whereby fundamentally therefore, TOR is not trusted by anyone. So the question that you must ask is, will the Torentco deal address those two fundamental issues? The fact that the refinery is broke and perpetually broke and two – the fact that nobody respects and trusts the refinery.”
His concerns relate to the partnership between TOR and Torentco Assets Management. The partnership, which will see the Tema Oil Refinery leased to Torrentco for six years, has been described as opaque and lopsided against the refinery by civil society organizations in the energy sector.
According to Mr Simons, the challenges he has with the deal are that the idea of single sourcing and lack of transparency. He said the promoters – Torentco are not well known in the industry.
He added that where the company mentioned getting the crude oil from brings out all the issues being discussed about “shady crude being brought to TOR in the past. We have a company called Pontus Trading which has been cited in the various scandals around the world.”
He also noted that the source of capital and banking relationships is unclear.