The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has given an assurance that the next NDC administration will revamp the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
He said the move to revamp the operations of the refinery was to enable TOR to carry out its core business of refining crude oil and making it one of the best in Africa.
He expressed regret that instead of refining crude oil, the facility in its present state had been turned into a storage facility for imported finished petroleum products.
Mr Mahama made the commitment when he interacted with tanker drivers as part of his campaign tour of the Tema Central Constituency last Thursday.
Mr Mahama said TOR’s operations, which had been inconsistent with the frequent shutdown of the processing plants mainly due to lack of capital to procure crude oil on a continuous basis, would be a thing of the past when the NDC assumed the reins of power next year.
“Just before we left office in 2016, we lifted crude oil from the Jubilee Fields for TOR to refine. Unfortunately, the situation today is different. The refinery is not operational and the next NDC administration commits to make TOR work again,” he said.
Mr Mahama also expressed concern about the manner in which the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) had been mismanaged by the current administration.
“Before we left office in 2016, BOST was one of the best performing state enterprises, but today the situation is different. The next NDC government will revive the fortunes of BOST and make it viable,” he said.
The leadership of the tanker drivers later presented a petition to the NDC presidential candidate, in which they outlined some issues affecting them and demanded his intervention should he be elected.
Led by its Chairman, Mr George Nyaunu, the drivers, among other things, complained about the bad road network around the various loading depots, poor condition of service for tanker drivers and their assistants, lack of pension scheme for drivers, embargo on the opening of new gas filling stations and difficulty in the implementation of policies in the downstream petroleum sector.
The Tema leg of Mr Mahama’s campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region saw him interacting with fishermen and fishmongers at Tema Manhean Canoe Basin in the Tema East Constituency, artisans at the Light Industrial Area at Community Nine in the Tema Central Constituency, port workers and frieght forwarders at Community Two in the Tema West Constituency.
He explained to the crowd policies on skills development, apprenticeship programme and pledged to revive industries in the Tema Industrial Area.
He said when industries in Tema and other places in Ghana thrived, it will benefit everybody, hence his administration would pay attention to them to enable them to employ more people.
In Tema, former President Mahama called on the Tema Traditional Council and the Council of Imams and other Muslim leaders.