‘Nothing wrong with TOR; just take the politics out’ – Kludjeson

The Chief Executive Officer of Kludjeson International Limited, Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson, has said “there’s nothing wrong with” the state-owned Tema Oil Refinery, only that “people want to import oil and sell and they don’t want to go through the structure, that’s all”.

Mr Kludjeson told Korku Lumor on the Class Morning Show that the Tema Oil Refinery is only a company that politicians must take their hands off.

“Let’s take the so-called politics out”, he said, adding: “Somebody should decide that Tema Oil Refinery has arrived”, he noted.

He said Tema is still the richest city in Ghana, revealing: “One of the new projects we are doing; how do we transform Tema into a smart city, once again?”

Recently, Energy Minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh revealed that even though some staff of TOR sounded an alarm that the tanks in which some condensates were to be put were not fit for purpose, the management of the refinery still went ahead to direct that the product be emptied into those very tanks.

“All the tanks designated for condensates, apart from one, are not fit for purpose”, Dr Prempeh told Accra-based Asaase Radio in an interview.

According to him, “those tanks were allocated by TOR”, and, so, wondered why he, as the minister, was being asked to take responsibility for the condensates worth $2.5 million which went missing.

“What is the responsibility of the staff of TOR?” Dr Prempeh retorted, wondering: “The minister should ensure value for money so the minister should make sure that he goes and stand behind the tank and then direct that the condensate should not be put in the tanks?”

As far as responsibility for the running of the state refinery is concerned, Dr Prempeh said “the chain stops at TOR”.

“It doesn’t go past the gates of TOR”, he insisted, pointing out: “If the minister or the ministry gets involved, how would we investigate like it happened?”

“If I am a player in TOR and an issue happens, can I sit to investigate?” Dr Prempeh asked.

“I would say TOR should not have put the condensates in the tanks in which it did because I’m even getting to realise that even some of the workers had said those tanks were not fit but they were still directed to the same tanks”.

“So, it is a systematic problem that we have on our hands that we have to deal with, from all the staff of TOR: management, union and everybody working in TOR because the beneficiaries of this project are TOR workers”, he told Beatrice Adu.

Dr Prempeh, about a week ago, snnounced that some US$2.5 million worth of cendensates went missing at the refinery.

“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 worth of condensate had gone missing from TOR”, Dr Prempeh revealed.

“If we all want TOR working, and we don’t want another ECG in TOR, [such things] will break the back of government”, he decried.

“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 noted.

Dr Prempeh said the government is making efforts to revive TOR.

“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’s [department], and the finance ministry all having a look”, he added.

“Getting it right is a difficult proposition we are working on. And we will work diligently to get Ghanaians what is good,” Dr Prempeh said.

The staff of TOR, a few weeks ago, demanded the dismissal of their Managing Director, Mr Jerry K. Hinson in connection with some allegations.

Also, the General Transport Petroleum Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) on Tuesday, 18 April 2023, announced at a press conference addressed by Mr Bernard Owusu, National Chairman, that they would embark on some kind of industrial action ahead of May Day to call for the revamping of TOR.

Their threat was met by a counter-threat of dismissal from the Managing Director.

In a letter to the workers, Mr Hinson said: “Kindly be aware of the illegality of any such actions under clauses 168 – 171 of the Labour Act and the consequences thereunder for participants/staff involved. Please be aware of section 171 in particular which emphasises the term ‘picketing’ which is only lawful in furtherance of a lawful strike/industrial action.”

Source: Ghana Web