Confusion Over TOR debt
Confusion Over TOR debt Website
The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is et to address a press conference any time in the near future over the claims made by the running mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. John Dramani Mahama, that the government has piled up a debt of some $500 million in the name of TOR. So far it remains unclear from government sources whether there is indeed a debt, and what the quantum is if any. Sources at the Ministry of Information and National Orientation on Wednesday told the Searchlight that TOR had been advised to make all information on the alleged debt available for an appropriate reaction to be fashioned out in the nearest future. The same sources insisted that there is no debt, and that if indeed there is a debt, it is not to the tune of $500 million. Meanwhile highly placed sources at the Ministry of Finance told this newspaper on our inquiries that there is indeed a debt, and that it has resulted from the under-pricing of fuel products on the Ghanaian market. "We know that prices are high in this country, but they are nowhere near what other people pay in other countries in the sub-region," the source said, adding that TOR had been forced in recent times to make up the difference. Addressing an energy seminar at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology last week, Mr. John Mahama, the running mate to the NDC's flagbearer stated; "Despite the TOR Debt Recovery Levy initiated in March 2003 which had grossed in excess of US$5 million, TOR is currently indebted to the Ghana Commercial Bank alone in excess of $5 million. The Bank of Ghana has expressed alarm about the solvency of the Ghana Commercial Bank." So far government has not come out to deny or confirm this assertion. Efforts the Daily Searchlight made yesterday to get the Minister of Finance Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu to react to this worrying scenario failed to elicit a response.