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23.10.2008 Business & Finance

TOR debt saga: No cause for alarm, Minister assures

By The Statesman

Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Energy, has assured the nation that there was no cause for alarm as far as the current status of the Tema Oil Refinery financial statement or account is concerned.

Though he failed to give the figure, the Minister said he had requested for the information on TOR's statement of account and disclosed that it was encouraging and said the management team ought to be commended.

Mr Adjapong, who is the Member of Parliament for Akyem Swedru, gave the assurance Tuesday when he addressed the media under the theme; "Energy sector—Vision, recent developments and outlook' in Accra.

He promised that at his next encounter with the media he would make available details of TOR"s financial standing.

It would be recalled that John Mahama, the main opposition National

Democratic Congress vice presidential candidate, had tried to politicise TOR activities by telling Nana Akufo-Addo, the ruling New Patriotic Party flagbearer, to help proffer ideas to the government to settle the TOR debt.

This was after the NPP flagbearer had proposed GH¢1bn to the Northern Development Fund.

According to the Energy Minister, government is committed to ensuring that every Ghanaian home and economic endeavour have access to adequate and reliable supply of energy at affordable prices saying, 'the resumption by VALCO attests to this commitment.'

He stated that as part of the institutional reforms of the power, Ghana Grid Company has been formed to replace the Transmission Department of Volta River Authority.

With a core staff of 635 personnel, the new entity will create a level playing field for all entities involved in the generation of electricity.

Government is also looking at developing other indigenous sources of energy including renewable energy such as solar, wind, biofuels as well as the development of nuclear energy.

In another development, the National Petroleum Authority said it would review the price of petroleum products on November 1, this year.Some section of the public has called for the reduction of petroleum products in the country since the fall of world crude oil price.