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Privatize TOR – Govt told

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi, has called for the privatisation of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) owing to its nonperformance.

Speaking on Citi TV’s ‘Face to Face’ programme, on August 23, Senyo Hosi said TOR hitherto used to be well managed however things started to decline when the government wholly absolved it from management.

He highlighted that government has over the years failed to properly manage state institutions and has consequently blown a lot of money in trying to revamp TOR.

He said the country has nothing to show for it even though such monies cumulatively could have been used to build a new big refinery.

“The first fundamental problem with TOR is the government’s involvement and politics in the operation of it. It shouldn’t be. Government should not be in the business of doing business because the government has failed at doing business and the evidence is so much. We have spent more money wasted, subsidizing TOR, trying to clean up TOR that’s almost enough to build a big refinery…a new big refinery if you look at the data. If you follow it step by step and dollarize it, you are in the billions of dollars that has just been thrown at TOR and we still don’t have anything to show for it,” he bemoaned.

“It was a very functional refinery. No problem. Even then they were doing tolling. I mean Shell, British Petroleum will bring crude, they [TOR] process and take the output and go. So, it was just a factory. You bring your raw material, we process it for you.

“You take your goods you go. It never meddled in the commencement of its work; it worked till the government decided to take part later in the late 70’s government then said we are taking over this thing fully and running it. Government started bringing in its agencies to import the product. When it started, every agency that meddled with TOR almost went down,” Senyo Hosi added.

Although he believes TOR ought to be privatized, he believes government must maintain a minority stake in it.

“TOR has to be privatized. It has to be done in a structured way government still has a little hold in there but not a controlling and defining hold. It should be a minority,” he emphasized.

Asked why governments have failed to privatise TOR, Senyo Hosi said “there’s a lot of incentive for every government to keep TOR. You have 1,000 workers who you are worried about…party boys that you have in there. For most of our state institutions that go down or are struggling so bad, there are people making a lot of money. So people benefit from this nonsense”.

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