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Business News of Thursday, 25 July 2019

Source: Ghana Crusader

Tema Oil Refinery chokes on huge debts, officials plot cover up

While indications are clear that West Africa’s first refinery, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is in a deep debt hole burden, officials employed to turn things around have rather resorted to a denial syndrome.

The company lost a staggering GHS186 million in the first four months of operations this year.

General Manager in charge of Finance, Mr Daniel Appiah, has in a statement justified why the GHC186m loss, saying that they are charges the company incurred on legacy debts.

He explained that, “the amount in question (GHs 186 million) was mainly incurred as a result of financial interest charges and exchange differences on TOR’s outstanding legacy debts yet to be paid from ESLA proceeds; and not due to trading or transactional activities by TOR.”

However, Mr Daniel Appiah has made a mockery of himself, when the same statement admitted that “TOR had been facing some liquidity challenges for some time now culminating in the company’s inability to implement its annual budget.’’

Sources have told Ghanacrusader “there is still a lot of debts to be cleared, when it comes to the TOR debt.”

Mr. Appiah’s posture of banking hopes on proceeds from the Energy Sector Stabilisation Account (ESLA) is a complete mirage as government has emptied substantial earnings from that account to settle wage accruals of pensioners.

It is still unclear why officials of TOR have decided to communicate false impressions of the state enterprise.

Mr Appiah’s statement that “TOR made a gross profit in the first quarter of this year, …that … [it] is a potentially profitable company” is a shocker as the company has not even refined a single barrel of crude oil this year. The company’s premises has become a haven for private people to store imported refined products for sale into the domestic market.

Industry players have viewed with utter shock and scorn explanation from TOR management they have been receiving support from Government of Ghana through the Ministries of Finance and Energy to turn around fortunes.

A simple check reveals that TOR is yet to receive any monetary support from the government.

Deep throat sources have hinted Ghanacrusader that there is a deliberate plot by government to run TOR down and then sell it to a private entity.

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