"Prosecute Ex-TOR Boss"

The Member of Parliament for Ashiaman, Alfred K. Agbesi, has called for the arrest and prosecution of the former Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), company during his tenure. Dr. Sarpong caused the company to run down, so he must be called immediately to account for his stewardship,” Mr Agbesi told the Times newspaper in an interview. Mr Agbesi, who is also a Board Member of TOR, said recent calls for the resignation of the Energy Ministers, his deputy and the acting Managing Director of the refinery were unfair since the non function of TOR was not their making. He said the problems of TOR must be blamed on the inefficiency of the former government and particularly, the inaction of the former Managing Director, Dr. Sarpong. TOR’s indebtedness, he said, stands at GH¢1.5 billion, owing GH¢118.10 million to Ghana Internal Bank in London, Standard Chartered Bank London and Barclays Bank London. It also owes suppliers of Petroleum GH¢258.80 million, and Crude Oil Suppliers GH¢425.00 as at June 30, this year. Because of this exposure the banks and others are not ready to raise letters of the credit for TOR, he said. Previously, suppliers of the Crude Oil gave 90 days credit but when the present government came, the period was reduced to 60 days with an additional condition that 50 per cent of the value of the crude oil supplied be paid. “They are further requesting for 30 days credit and because of the current position of TOR, it cannot raise letters of credit in order to buy the crude”, he said. The Tema District Council Labour (TDCL), chaired by Mr Wilson Agana, last Friday gave government a two-week ultimatum to supply TOR with Crude or they would advise themselves. According to Mr Agana, the huge sums of money used to rehabilitate the plant would go down the drain if government should fail to supply the refinery with oil. However, the workers threat is deemed nullified following the shipment of a consignment of crude oil from Nigeria last Monday. President, J.E.A Mills last Thursday visited the Refinery to address the workers and assured them that government was working hard to get Crude Oil for the Refinery soon. Dr Sarpong has however refused to comment on the issue. When the Times called in yesterday, he said, “I would rather not comment on the issues because time will tell.”