The Board of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has promised to provide the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) with all the necessary documentation for its investigations into the refinery’s intended deal with Torentco Asset Management Limited (TAML).
In a bid to turn TOR from a debt-ridden company to a profitable path, a special-purpose vehicle with the name Torentco Asset Management Limited was set up to champion the lease agreement.
Torentco Asset Management also created a special-purpose vehicle named Tema Energy and Processing Limited (TEPL) to ensure that this vision is achieved.
However, several policy think tanks, including IMANI Africa, have raised red flags over the deal.
The General Transport, Petroleum, and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana also petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the lease agreement.
The Transport Workers Union believes “the actions of the individuals behind Tema Energy and Processing Limited seek to induce workers of TOR with 20% of its shares through misrepresentation of workers in an entity by the name “TOR Workers Charity Trust” that never existed nor heard of at TOR, apart from the five individual directors and direct beneficiaries of this trust.”
They expressed fear that the country might be shortchanged because the Board of Directors of TOR has been compromised in the deal.
The OSP, therefore, directed the management of TOR to suspend its proposed partnership agreement with TEPL.
The OSP, in a letter dated November 21, 2023, and addressed to the Managing Director of TOR, Daniel Osei Appiah, said, “It has commenced an analysis of the risk of corruption in respect of the proposed partnership.”
“You are directed to immediately suspend the proposed partnership agreement, ongoing negotiations, operations and all other ancillary activities arising out of and consequent upon the proposed partnership agreement until you are otherwise advised by the Special Prosecutor.”
As such, the Board of TOR in a statement issued on Sunday said “The Board and management of TOR will avail to the OSP any and all documentation required, and we are certain that a better understanding of the issues and processes will allow for this important project to have a chance of being implemented.”
“The alternative would require that TOR continues its ongoing search for viable options in a very difficult market.”