Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Edward Bawa has blamed the mismanagement and embezzlement of resources at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) on political interference.

According to Mr Edward Bawa, TOR just like other State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the energy sector including Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) reported issues of product losses until the presence of private companies to address such challenges.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he referenced the period when TSL, a private company under the period of Awuah Darko was sent to BOST to check such irregularities.

“Under the Awuah Darko administration, they introduced the TSL, a private company that came in to take care of the product and anytime a product could not be accounted for, the liability was charged on the private company and within that period, we realized that nothing happened. We never had product loses again. We didn’t hear of all the stories that we were hearing before TSL came.

“As we speak today, TSL is still in place because when this government came in power, yes they suspended them for some time but later realized it is better to go back for them.”

The Member of Parliament for Bongo noted that a similar initiative, Premium Collateral Managing System was implemented by Awuah Darko for the Tema Oil Refinery.

He, however, alleged that under the tenure of one Isaac Osei when the New Patriotic Party assumed office, the company was relieved of its mandate and matters at TOR plunged into a bad state.

“They were also supposed to do that. Guess what, when Isaac Osei came in as the Chief Executive of TOR, as part of the so-called Rambo style type of changing things without making an assessment, these people were disbanded and were asked to pack their bags and leave. So if you look at July 2015 to 2016, no product was lost. And suddenly, the people took over again and it was business as usual,” he stated.

He therefore came to the conclusion that “TOR is suffering from serious political interference.”

Mr Bawa’s comments come after the media reported that the Interim Management Committee of the Tema Oil Refinery has interdicted some staff for their involvement in the alleged theft of ¢10.4 million worth of cables.

The three-member committee established some four months ago also discovered the disappearance of a BDC client’s 105,927 litres of gas oil on September 4.

Following this, the Interim Management has explained that the affected staff “who hold various positions of responsibility and accountability concerning the transfer of products, have been queried and interdicted pending the outcome of investigations.”

Also, the Ministry of Energy has assured to penalize the said workers if found culpable.

Meanwhile, according to Mr Bawa, some names he has come across in the media for being interdicted, if they are anything to go by, are exactly the same people who were interdicted in 2015 by the Refinery’s Board.

“You will realize that some of the names that were there were interdicted in 2015/16 for such actions. Some of the names, I don’t know the authenticity of those names, but if those names are anything to go by, they were interdicted by the Board of TOR and when NPP came into power, they described that particular interdiction as political victimization and brought them back,” he said.

“I’m trying to make the point that until we begin to start looking at national assets such as TOR and other SOEs as entities that should be viable, and that we should have competence as part of the hallmarks in appointing such people, we will continue to narrate these stories,” he added.

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