Speaking in a discussion on fuel prices on The Probe on Sunday, he expressed concern about the inability of the company to live up to expectation, despite its prospects.
Responding to a question from Benjamin Akakpo, on whether TOR should be privatised to deal with the company’s woes, Dr. Suleman said, “I’ve always advocated for that. I told you that of one the conduits for poor performance in the refinery is internal inefficiency. And now we need funds in the refinery, undoubtedly.
So yes, I’ll always, 100% call for privatising the refinery. If not 100%, just give portions to private hands to manage. And what it will do is that, it will inject some bit of efficiency. And then the required capital that we need to inject to bring the refinery back to vibrancy, that will be catered for.
So yes, privatisation is an option that the government can pick. And I think the high time we did that, the better.”
Established in 1963, the Tema Oil Refinery is expected to support the country’s development by generating revenue.
However, in recent times, the company has been bedeviled with a myriad of challenges that affect its operations.
For instance, in October last year, some staff of the company were arrested for allegedly stealing cables to the tune of GH¢10.4m.
Reacting to this, the Public Relations Officer for the Energy Ministry, Kwasi Obeng Fosu stated that staff members of the company, indicted in the Interim Management Committee’s report, were likely to face prosecution.
According to him, the committee set up by the Energy Minister will put the report before the President after which the legal consequences will follow.
This development, in addition to other scandals that have hit the company, have given rise to public concerns about the fate of the company and its operations.
The call by Dr. Suleman for the Tema Oil Refinery to be privatised, is therefore in line with earlier suggestions put forward by other stakeholders to rescue the company from its crisis.