Ignore ‘ignorant’ Captain Smart; No wrongdoing in TOR strategic partnership discussions – Energy Ministry

The Ministry of Energy has chided the Morning Show Host on Onua TV, Godsbrain Smart, popularly known in media circles as Captain Smart, for the unjustified attacks on the sector minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, over the government finding a possible strategic partner for the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

A statement signed by Kofi Abrefa Afena, spokesperson of the minister said, for the broadcaster to allege wrongdoing on the part of the minister smacks of ignorance and unprofessionalism.

The statement said even though the insults on Dr Opoku Prempeh could be seen as occupational hazards of a public servant, it is utterly disappointing, that a journalist would “sink to a record low, without apprising himself of the relevant facts and having regard for proper ethics of his profession. “

The statement described the broadcaster’s accusations against the minister as “baseless and ignorant rantings.”

Total Commitment
Given details, the statement indicated that Dr Opoku Prempeh as Energy Minister has demonstrated without a shred of doubt, his total commitment to getting TOR back to work in line with the vision of President Akufo-Addo.

“Indeed, the board, management and staff of the company are on record to have severally touted the numerous positive interventions of the minister in that regard,” it stated.

Furthermore, it stated that the government’s quest at finding a credible partner towards revamping the company involves key state actors such as the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) and the Attorney General’s Department.

In addition, it indicated that the company has in place a board and management running the day-to-day affairs, who are primary stakeholders in this transaction.

No contract signed
According to the Ministry, negotiations with the potential partner are still ongoing and no contract has yet been signed.

“The minister’s interest is to ensure that, the strategic private sector partnership is in the interest of TOR, an important step in getting the refinery back to work in the shortest possible time. “On the back of the above explanations, we struggle to understand how anybody can allege a mirage of a wrongdoing on the part of the sector minister,’ the ministry’s statement stated.

Further taking on Captain Smart for his allegations against the minister, the statement said “it is just the usual easy business of maligning one’s reputation through the throwing of tantrums to create an impression of corruption on the part of the minister in the eyes of unsuspecting citizens.”

It reminded Captain Smart and his ilk that, the history of Ghana is replete with a number of instances where boards and managements of state-owned enterprises have been solely answerable to the relevant authority without recourse to a sector minister. On that score, the erroneous assumption that a minister is blamed for every happening is a fallacy.

Ashanti royalty
On the attack launched on Dr Opoku Prempeh’s Ashanti royalty, the statement said, “the undiluted insults have no nexus with the current matter,”

“It is not in our civilized place to respond in equal measure, except to acknowledge that, it only accentuates the uncouth character of Captain Smart as described by many Ghanaians. “Captain Smart must begin to understand that as a journalist, he has a responsibility to educate and inform his audience and not to use his platform to deliberately transmit hatred in furtherance of sinister agenda. “

Contrived attacks
The statement alerted Ghanaians of an avalanche of contrived attacks on the energy minister in the coming days by his political assailants.

“Dr Opoku Prempeh has not done anything untoward in the current matter and remains focused on supporting and drawing synergies from relevant stakeholders in getting TOR back to work,” the statement said.

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