Unionised staff of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) are demanding that the government save the country’s only refinery from collapse by dissolving the Board immediately.
In a statement co-signed by Mr Bright Adongo, Chairman of the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) and Maame Serwa Duncan Williams, Chair of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union (GTPCWU), the unionised staff said the failure of the Board in managing the refinery has resulted in a lot of debt and inefficiency.
“Nothing has been done” about TOR’s “long-standing indebtedness” to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and the Ghana Water Company Limited.
Additionally, the unions said TOR is “owing everywhere and adding on to the debt”.
The statement pointed out that “for the first time, the Board and Management could not assure workers of future prospects of revenue inflows”, adding that: “Retirees’ end-of-service benefit payments continue to be in default”.
“For the first time, Provident Fund payment is always in default”, the statement bemoaned.
Further, the unions said even though the BOST margins have been increased and passed by parliament, but the Board of TOR could not secure a similar deal for us.
“State-owned organisations got some financial relief, as a result of the COVID-19 [pandemic], but the Board of TOR could not secure a similar deal for us. No new project or initiative has been undertaken since coming into office.
“The Board has failed to secure partnership from several investors who had expressed interest in expanding the refinery capacity between 100,000 to 150,000 BPSD.
The unions said the Board, as eminent as its members are, “have not been able to exert its influence on NPA, in order to collect already-received money paid by all Ghanaians to be used for recapitalising aspects of TOR”.
“We are calling on government to dissolve the Board because, as far as we are concerned, the Board has failed us, as mu co-chair said earlier. The Board has failed us from the beginning to an end. They have been here for four years and they cannot boast of anything, so, the government should dissolve the Board, that is what we are asking for. And when the management also misbehaves, they will follow them. No production is going on. Nothing is going on as we speak”, Duncan Williams told journalists when they picketed the premises of the refinery in Tema on Wednesday, 4 November 2020.
Read their unionised staff’s full statement below:
OPERATION SAVE TOR NOW! NOW!! NOW!!
TOR IS VERY STRATEGIC AND VERY PROFITABLE
Tema Oil Refinery, as a strategic national asset, was established in 1963 to enhance the country’s investment and provide quality energy products and services to power Ghana’s economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner.
It is instructive to note that at the time TOR was built, crude oil had not been discovered in commercial quantities, but hoped would one day be a possibility.
Thankfully, in 2007, this dream was realised and commercial production started in 2010.
Among the other strategic reasons were national security, and for value addition to raw materials.
With the company’s net worth of almost $1.3billion, there is no explanation or excuse whatsoever for the story of continuous financial distress.
Even at the current processing capacity, we should project not less than between $3million on a 1million parcel of crude oil in addition to more revenue we could derive from our storage facilities and other service charges.
The workers’ leadership made proposals on revenue generation to the management, which led to the formation of different committees that established various reports. In discussing the committees’ reports with management, Special EXIM, the unions were sacked from the Exim table over the implementation of the committee report, which was to improve profit margins and some of the reports that didn’t need a single resource to implement.
When the unions were sacked, we were told that they (management) are paid to do that so they will own and implement it. But after two years, these reports have not been implemented, yet they are sitting in their comfort zone telling us the cash flow is bad.
If management are paid to manage and they have failed to implement these proposals, then they must be held accountable and will be held accountable.
The first day the union’s leadership met the current Managing Director on 22nd May 2020, we presented a blueprint to him that bordered on revenue generation, which he considered as laudable
(From his own words – a jolly ride) but he did not demonstrate his commitment to it.
The Management of TOR has not been able to secure continuous supply of crude oil for processing, and the idling state of the plants is a serious maintenance cost as well.
WE CANNOT SEE THE TOR MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH AND MANAGING WITH PRUDENCY.
Under the oversight responsibility of the BOARD, this has been the picture of TOR:
Ø Nothing has been done on the long-standing indebtedness to GRA, SSNIT, ECG, Ghana Water Company, owing everywhere and adding on to the debt.
Ø For the first time, the Board and Management could not assure workers of future prospects of revenue inflows.
Ø Retirees’ end-of-service benefit payments continue to be in default.
Ø For the first time, Provident Fund payment is always in default.
Ø The BOST margins have been increased and passed by Parliament, but the Board of TOR could not secure a similar deal for us.
Ø State-owned organisations got some financial relief, as a result of the COVID-19 [pandemic], but the Board of TOR could not secure a similar deal for us.
Ø No new project or initiative has been undertaken since coming into office.
Ø The Board has failed to secure partnership from several investors who had expressed interest in expanding the refinery capacity between 100,000 to 150,000 BPSD.
Ø The Board, as eminent as they are, have not been able to exert its influence on NPA, in order to collect already received money paid by all Ghanaians to be used for recapitalising aspects of TOR
The Board, together with Management, has not proven commitment and sense of urgency in improving the fortunes of the refinery.
Under a much-better BOARD, the government, through GRA, should be having timely payment of tax revenue to undertake other developmental or social programmes to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
ECG, Ghana Water Company, and many other entities should not have their revenue locked up in TOR, and that could improve the services they render to all Ghanaians.
THE BOARD HAS FAILED TOR!
THE BOARD HAS FAILED THE PRESIDENT!!
THE BOARD HAS FAILED GHANAIANS!!!
THE BOARD MUST BE REMOVED!!!!