The Reverend Dr. Samuel Worlanyo Mensah, an Economist and Executive Director of Centre Impact Africa (CGIA) has urged the government to revamp and expand the capacity of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
He suggested to the government to either build a new local refinery or expand TOR’s capacity to reduce the importation of petroleum products and ensure self-sufficiency in the petrochemical sector in Ghana.
Rev. Dr. Mensah was speaking at the 12th monthly stakeholder engagement seminar organized by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office which is a platform rolled out for state and non-state actors to address national issues.
The engagement also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters towards national development in general and the growth and promotion of the Tema GNA as the industrial news hub.
Speaking on the topic: “Global economy with the Russian-Ukraine War: Prospects and Challenges for Ghana,” Rev. Dr. Mensah added that investing in local refineries would also promote the industrialization of local content and quality products needed to enlarge production to increase revenue.
He stressed that TOR must be revamped to fully refine the country’s Oil product, stressing that the current system where TOR is under-utilized, but the nation exports the product to other jurisdictions at a huge cost to refine and transported back into the country.
He said the economic dynamics of such an arrangement were wrong, “at the end of the day we incur the unnecessary cost, the money used in such unprofitable ventures could have been pumped to revamp TOR and save the country millions of dollars”.
He cautioned against the importation of goods that could be produced in the country adding that, there are a lot of things that were being imported into the country which are not necessarily needed, “as we have a competitive advantage but still we ignore local products and depend on foreign ones which turn to put pressure on the local currency”.
He explained that considering the global economic crisis as a result of the ongoing war, Ghana must consider this time as an opportunity to explore the petrochemical industry to produce more petrochemical products for both local consumption and exportation.
He added that the war between Russia and Ukraine was a double-edged sword for the country’s economy as Ghana’s exportation of crude to the international market was yielding huge returns, other sectors are also being affected negatively therefore the urgent need for prudent management and balancing of the economic fundamentals to reduce the impact on citizens.
“That is going to expand the economy, create more jobs bring in revenue and once we get revenue, we’ll be able to solve our infrastructural deficit as a country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chris Kpodar, the Executive Director at Solomon Investment Ghana Limited who also spoke on the same platform admitted that corruption remained the biggest canker existing in society and called for redesigning systems, especially those that were previously proned to bribery and corruption, and building transparency, integrity, and trustworthiness.
Dr. Kpodar however commended the government for initiating the digitization system, “digitization is a prerequisite for Artificial Intelligence deployment as an anti-corruption weapon.”