By Newman C. A Dotse–
/The managers of state coffers are concealing the amount of money collected under the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) recovery levy, thus keeping the citizenry in perpetual darkness, while heaping hefty taxes on the governed under the present harsh economic condition.
The happenings at TOR is gradually giving credence to multiple allegations against the managers of state coffers under the successive governments that the funds, which are being collected from the people of this Country to settle the debt recklessly accumulated by the ailing and dying state organization, are being mismanaged or syphoned.
This levy collection was initiated by the former president John Agyekum Kufuor during his term in office in a bid to clear debts hanging on the neck of TOR, that used to be vibrant as a result of under recoveries, yet, the managers of the state coffers were unable to come clear on the quantum of monies gathered so far, for resuscitation of the dying TOR.
The attitude of government appointees on the subject matter has forced many citizens of this country to demand accountability because TOR is still not refining crude oil despite all monies collected over the years.
Lack of transparency concerning the TOR levy which has been collected against the wish of the poor Ghanaians for well over 20 years, ostensibly to clear debt endangering effective operations of the country’s only oil refinery to enable the people of Ghana benefit from a better oil pricing policy so far as fuel utilization in this country is concerned, has characterised it’s Management.
The public is not privy to the amount of the debt paid, the outstanding balance to be taken care of and how long it will take TOR to bounce back as a viable entity to help solve oil price hikes currently whipping majority of Ghanaians.
Some workers of TOR who talked to The Citizen Newspaper on condition of anonymity, disclosed that happenings at the TOR show clearly that successive government appointees responsible for forward movement of the refinery, are deliberately running down the organization to enable private business men and women to benefit from the importation of already refined petroleum products because the very people who should be working towards the progress of this organization are oil merchants themselves.
Even though TOR is not operating as it should, workers continue to enjoy salaries while the refinery continues to deteriorate and as such, government continues to invest millions of cedis for the maintenance of the various plants even though not functional as it should be.
Sadly, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) continues to handle petroleum pricing method over the past decades aiming at ensuring full cost recovery, revenue generation in future and cohesive ex-pump prices to enable affordability.
Could Ghana’s lost glory be restored when majority of state institutions managers are chronically corrupt? How can a once upon a time viable country called Ghana be redeemed when majority of politicians are deeply corrupt and shamelessly ransacking state coffers for their selfish interest to the detriment of the poor masses?
This reminds us of a statement put out by the Centre for Energy Policy some years ago, questioning the rationale behind the continuous payment of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt recovery levy, as its analysis shows that revenue generated from the levy is enough to clear the existing debt long ago.