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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Explosive Letter

Monday, 19 April 2010
Dr Oteng Adjei - Energy Minister
One of the features of the recent upheavals in the country’s oil refining facility, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), was the interception of an email correspondence from the Minister of Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei, by peeved staff, to some stakeholders, warning TOR to stay away from crude oil importation.
The Minister per the email, has barred TOR from importing crude oil, and ceded the mandate to GNPC, the basis of recent agitations at the refinery.
The email correspondence about which so much heat has been generated, both within government circles and outside it, was titled, ‘Re: Update On Crude Oil Supply’, and directed to a couple of people including the deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Oil and Gas, Emmanuel A. Kofi Buah, in which he sought to explain the crude oil supply situation.
The contents brought to the fore critical discussions between the man in charge of energy policy and his boss, the President, who goes by the letters HE or His Excellency.
Above all, it encapsulates the heat in the kitchen as the minister runs the affairs of this critical sector of the economy, which has met with copious bumps in recent times.
The distraught minister, following the interception, has alongside other government agencies, called for action against the staff, with a view to establishing how they came by the email.
The demand has been met with mixed reaction, much of which finds the interception not unusual and should therefore not be a subject of criminal interrogation, as being sought by government operatives.
The email came on the heels of a worrying disquiet among workers of TOR, as they called for the heads of important personalities in the energy sector, including the Minister, Dr Oteng-Adjei, his deputy, and the power behind President Mills, Ato Ahwoi, who is the GNPC Board Chairman, blaming their predicament and those of the facility on these persons.
The email was very instructive that none but GNPC should supply TOR with crude oil for refinery.
The revealing email, dated Thursday April 8, 2010, opened with the following: “Let me clarify some wrong impressions making waves.
Yes we met HE and the idea of transferring G2G (Government to Government) crude supply from GNPC to TOR was discussed. I was to work with the Chief of Staff to operationalise the directive from HE.”
Continuing, Dr Oteng-Adjei states: “In a follow-up meeting in my office on the same day, both TOR and GNPC were requested to supply me with information to enable u contact Chief of Staff. “
Not satisfied with the inability of his request to elicit a response from the targets, he continues: “To date, none of the agencies has sent me the information which in itself can be deemed to be absolute disrespect for the leadership at the Ministry.
“In the circumstances,” he fired, “the status quo prevails”, as he states that “TOR will be wasting their time and resources if they proceed to make arrangements to import crude.”
Even as TOR workers pray for the import of crude oil to get them busy and to get the very sophisticated and expensive machinery working, the minister emphasized, “Let me state in no uncertain terms (that) FOR NOW, ONLY GNPC HAS THE MANDATE TO SUPPLY CRUDE TO TOR.”
The email went on: “In the event that there are shortages of crude for TOR to process, GNPC will be held responsible and the management will be sanctioned!”
On what management of GNPC told him, he stated that “GNPC has informed and assured me that they are able to supply the April and May crude requirements. Consequently, NPA should not deal with Ecobank on any crude supply transaction from TOR and I WILL STRONGLY ADVISE THE MANAGEMENT OF TOR TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH ME BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY REQUEST FOR APPROVAL FROM THEIR BOARD.”
About the Managing Director of TOR, he intimated that “the MD of TOR must accordingly not confuse us by running to arrange for the supply of crude! Let us be willing to follow basic processes to ensure uniformity and avoid unnecessary bumping as we all seek to take our parts in building the BETTER GHANA”.

By A.R. Gomda/Daily Guide

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