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OSP directs TOR to suspend proposed partnership deal with TEPL

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has directed the management of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to suspend its proposed partnership agreement with Tema Energy and Processing Limited (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.”

The directive of the Special Prosecutor follows agitations of staff of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) who expressed their opposition to the partnership deal with Torentco Asset Management Limited now Tema Energy and Processing Limited.

On Monday, November 20, the General Transport, Petroleum, and Chemical Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana petitioned the Special Prosecutor to investigate the lease agreement between the Tema Oil Refinery and Torentco Asset Management Limited.

In a petition, the Workers Union said, “We wish to request that your highly esteemed office investigate and intervene in the ongoing lease arrangement of Tema Oil Refinery to Torentco Asset Management Limited, now Tema Energy and Processing Limited, with the same individuals involved.”

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.

“We are tempted to believe the BoDs have been compromised to shortchange the country, Ghana. Otherwise, why will the BoDs be adamant in the face of all these red flags? Even when entities such as Falcon American Oil and Legacy Capital have also approached the management of TOR with very lucrative and compelling proposals, the BoD and Management have been resolute in ensuring that regardless of all the red flags, they will lease TOR to Torentco/TEPL for six (6) years.”

They added, “In the spirit and letter of the whistle-blowers’ Acts, we want to officially petition your outfit as our last option, having written to the Ministry of Energy, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, SIGA, the Public Procurement Authority, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General department and the Ministry of Finance for their respective intervention for the prevention of a possible replica of ECG/PDS scandal.”

CNR

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