The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has revealed that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) will resume full operations in the first quarter of 2018.
TOR, Ghana’s only refinery, has been plagued with funding challenges which have resulted in several shutdowns.
But addressing the 3rd Aliu Mahama memorial lectures in Accra, Mr. Ofori Atta said government is working to ensure the Tema Oil Refinery is properly positioned to perform a strategic role in the petrochemical industry.
“Our oil and Gas fields provide us with the perfect opportunity to create a petrochemical industry in Ghana. To do so we will have to leverage our oil and gas resources and develop different assets as a vision in a plan to create a petrochemical hub in Western region.
“…I am happy to say that things are changing, latest by the first quarter 2018, we expect the TOR to run continuously again.”
The Finance Minister also said local Banks in the country must be strengthened to drive Ghana towards economic development.
“For Ghana to take greater control of her economic destiny, we must be clear on the need to have a robust financial sector capable of financing the transformation.
“For the last two years alone, Ghana raised syndicated loans totalling 3.2 billion on the cocoa side. This transaction is no doubt one of the easiest and most lucrative credit facilities for the banks involved, but the syndication is done and led by non-indigenous financial houses. Not a single indigenous bank was involved in the last 1.3 billion dollar race.”
Mr. Ofori-Atta added “I think it is time we took deliberate steps to build the capacity of our local banks to become major participants in this assured multi-billion dollar money market right here in Ghana.
“But if that is to happen, our banking sector needs to grow up both literally and metaphorically. In my view the current situation where we have an oversupply of small Ghanaian banks is not sustainable or useful to the agenda. In banking, bigger is better. We want to see our banks talking to each other consolidating their forces to take a bigger stake in the domestic market and gather the muscle to venture beyond our borders.”