The workers’ union of the state-owned Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has expressed its backing for the ongoing talks between the board and management of the company and Torentco Asset Management (TAM) as a potential strategic partner.
The union said in a statement on Tuesday, June 20 that it believes that the deal with TAM, which is yet to be finalized, is the best option to revive the refinery, which has been struggling to operate due to lack of capital injection from successive governments.
The statement, signed by Chairman Bright Adongo, praised the terms of the agreement as “refreshing”.
“It is also important to clarify that per the terms of the arrangements, TOR is allowed to terminate the deal any time and refund the cost of investment to TORENTCO, if it finds a better alternative during the tenure of the agreement.”
The statement comes after some experts raised doubts about the lease, accusing the government of using it as a cover to strip off the refinery while saddling the state with its liability.
For example, Kofi Bentil, Vice President of IMANI Africa, said that the deal is shrouded in secrecy and is wrong.
It is wrong – Kofi Bentil tells gov’t over reported sale of TOR But the senior staff claim that those who are opposing the deal are either ignorant of the reality or “being sponsored by adversaries of the refinery to keep the refinery in its current near helpless state for their wicked and selfish interest”.
The situation at TOR has become a concern for many Ghanaians.
The workers have not received any salary increment for the past five years while its debt is over $500 million.
The staff blame the situation on political interference, mismanagement and lack of adequate investment in the state-owned company, a situation which they hope will be solved by the lease with TAM.