22.04.2008 Business & Finance

TOR boss denies 500-million-dollar debt

22.04.2008 LISTEN
By myjoyonline

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Dr. K. K. Sarpong has debunked the $500 million quoted by the National Democratic Congress as the total debt owned by TOR.

Dr. Sarpong made the assertion in an interview with Ekourba Gyasi on Adom FM's Dwaso Nsem on Tuesday.

He said the company's debt stands at $150 million and not the $500 million stated by Hon. John Mahama, running mate to NDC flag bearer Prof. Atta Mills at an energy seminar in Kumasi.

A former Energy Minister in the NDC government Mr. to Ahwoi reiterated the concern on Adom Dwaso Nsem again when called upon to substantiate the figure.

Mr. Ahwoi hinted that, the NDC has stumbled upon a letter written by a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Mumuni Bawumia, in which it was stated that TOR is currently indebted to the Ghana Commercial Bank alone in excess of $500 million despite the TOR Debt Recovery Levy initiated by the government in March 2003, which had grossed in excess of $500 million.

But in a reaction, Dr. K. K. Sarpong dismissed the figure being quoted as a TOR debt, noting that people are going round with such a figure as TOR debt because they do not have a clear understanding of accounting principles and as such confuse the general public with their statements.

He said government picked a total debt of $320 million from the books of TOR and that amount is being serviced by the use of the TOR debt recovery levy, the total amount he was not able to quote.

According to Dr. K. K. Sarpong, upon his assumption of office the total debt left behind by the NDC government was $200 million which was used to build a cracker for the refinery, of which the outstanding amount left to be paid is $58 million.

On the state of the TOR debt recovery, Dr. Sarpong said he is unable to state the exact amount collected by the government but he is aware that the levy is being used to service the $320 million debt absorbed by the government from the books of TOR.

Author: Kojo Addo(Adom FM).

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