The Minority Caucus in Parliament has announced that it will in the coming days trigger a Parliamentary probe into the latest oil scandal under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, the Minority said it was “disgusted” by the unexplained disappearance of 105,927 litres of Gas Oil, a wrongful loading of 252,000 litres of Aviation Turbine Kerosene, the disappearance of 18 drums of electrical cables, and the disappearance of LPG and loss of Naphtha.
The estimated cost of the stolen items is in excess of GHS42 million, excluding the value of the Naphtha.
“The Minority wishes to serve notice that it will not sit unconcerned for greedy and self-seeking Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to plunge the only oil refinery in the country into comatose,” the Minority’s statement read.
“We are well aware of the cover-up in the BOST scandal and cannot, therefore, trust this Government to conduct any fair, transparent and unbiased investigation. We, therefore, wish to serve notice that we shall in the coming weeks, trigger the appropriate rules and processes for a full-scale Parliamentary inquiry into this broad daylight thievery and embarrassing spectacle,” the Minority said in the statement.
The release which was signed by MP for Yapei Kusawgu and Ranking Member for Mines and Energy, John Jinapor, however also called on the government to ensure whatever probe it marshalls has competent people as investigators.
This latest scandal dovetails an already established notoriety of oil products stealing under the Akufo-Addo government.
In 2017, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) contaminated fuel scandal, in which 5million litres of contaminated fuel was secretly sold off to mushroom companies linked to government actors – Movenpiina and Zup Oil.
Also, the Akufo-Addo government has been rocked several times with scandalous oil deals,. The latest being the move to re-purchase an over-priced chunk of oil block from Norwegian companies, Aker Energy.
The Minority’s statement pointed out that the Tema Oil Refinery has its standard operating procedures requiring the daily briefing to management on stock accounting and inventory, which confirms to management the total quantity and quality in their tanks and the identities of parties who own such stocks.
Therefore, it said, it is untenable that such huge losses occur without any tangible explanation.
“This scandal raises issues of dereliction of duty on the part of the management of the Company which requires parliamentary inquiry,” the Minority said. It added, “Since 2017, the Tema Oil Refinery has been mismanaged into a state of comatose…This is why the current Government has proposed to turn it into a Tank farm,” said the Minority.
It said, before leaving office in January 2017, the NDC/Mahama government had initiated, implemented and managed the restructuring of the entire refinery operations.
In the NDC’s quest to revamp the refinery, it said, the Mahama government
procured Nine (9) million barrels of crude to be refined including an indigenous crude from the TEN fields in Ghana.