The Member of Parliament for Effia constituency Joseph Cudjoe, has argued that the solution Ghanaians are looking forward to in the face of the oil price hikes and challenges is not about refining oil in Ghana.
The lawmaker believes that the discussion is a long-term initiative and the short to the medium-term initiative, is to see how Ghanaians could get cheaper fuel to buy.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Gm and in response to a question on whether the current challenges do not call for the country to refine its own crude, he said that discussion is mute.
Several experts and analysts have consistently called on the government to make available crude for the refinery to process into finished petroleum products, for the local market.
These experts have maintained that TOR could refine crude oil to meet 60 per cent of the country’s petroleum requirement, thereby preventing Ghana from spending millions of United States dollars in foreign exchange on Petroleum Distribution Companies (PDCs) to import finished products.
However, the MP questions whether those making these claims have considered the impact on our foreign exchange generation and export benefits.
“I’m looking for answers to this question. This is an angle to which I expect people to respond,” he added.
He explained that people talk as if we have resources or the capital as the state to embark on a project.
”We behave as if we have the capital to undertake a project. We don’t have the capital. You can make all the noise, but we don’t have the capital. You would need the capital. You could look out for a Ghanaian investor to do this. But can we get such a person? If a Ghanaian has such a capital, the person could walk to the Energy Ministry with a proposal.”
”It is easy to make these demands. But we live in a country where people are only interested in the demands and not where the capital would come from for projects,” he said.
He told host Kwabena Agyapong that it is more profitable for the private sector to engage in it instead of contracting loans to embark on this project.
He emphasized that the Tema Oil Refinery, which we boast about, is not a modern refinery, and that we would need a lot of money to build one, which the Energy Ministry is currently working on.
“TOR was built in 1960, and we are always proud of that. TOR is not a modern refinery. It will take a lot of money to bring it back, and the Energy Ministry is looking into it. It is ongoing and will take time to complete.”