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Business News of Monday, 3 November 2003

Source: Ghanaian Times

Energy Ministry Blocks Mobil's Moves

The Ministry of Energy has asked the management of Mobil Ghana Limited to suspend its decision to start a “cash and carry” system with its dealers this month. The Ministry’s request followed a careful study of a petition to it by the dealers to the effect that the system should be scrapped because it was intended by Mobil’s management to boot them out of their businesses.

A source very close to the dealers and the ministry disclosed these to the ‘Times’ after meeting the dealers and the Ministry last week. According to the source, the Mobil management are expected to respond to the request today, based on which the dealers would decide on what to do.

“A strike will be unavoidable should they refuse to suspend their move because the dealers cannot just work under this new system”, it said. Until Mobil’s management decided on a cash and carry system, the dealers have been paying for the supplies three days after being supplied with the products. That it said was acceptable since the Tema Oil Refinery also allowed Mobil to pay back two weeks after supplying them with the products.

Mobil issued the directive following the refusal of some of their dealers to pay up their debts, while others issued dud cheques. The Mobil Dealers Association had even asked management to furnish it with the list of those owing them so that the association could help retrieve the monies. But the management refused and was only determined to introduce the new system.