The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is advocating the extension of government’s proposed gas re-circulation program by at least two more years to address all major concerns.
The Chamber argues that the teething issues with the program especially threats of a strike by the gas marketing companies will pose dire consequences on consumers if unresolved.
The Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah who spoke to Citi Business News on the matter feared that the dangers may escalate to a greater level if such advice is not heeded.
“I am sure we could explore further, ways of making some of the existing stations much safer than they have been while equally developing the recirculation plan given a five year moratorium.
“We believe that for the one year that government is proposing, if we are not careful, we may rush through things and only graduate the dangers from a smaller scale or retail outlet to a bigger scale,” he suggested.
Following the recent gas explosion at the Atomic junction in Accra, cabinet sanctioned the introduction of the cylinder gas recirculation model.
The program is among others aimed at reducing the risks associated with the refilling of gas cylinders at various retail centres.
But the gas marketers argue that the move will kick them out of business.
The Public Relations Officer of the LPG Marketers Association, Bernard Owiredu, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show said the policy can be implemented through them due to their experience in the industry.
He said the marketers had been operating in the sector for over 30 years and therefore must be players in any such move which according to government is to provide access to safe LPG in the country.
“We have been in the business of distributing gas for well over 30 years and by our own plans and strategies, we have been expanding our business so if indeed the policy seeks to extend LPG usage, you have to do with through us because we are the operators and we have been serving the populace LPG for 30 years… You are creating a new business by destroying existing legal businesses,” he said.
Duncan Amoah further suggested the provision of the needed equipment for the current retailers of gas to enhance the safety of their operations.
“Could we have had a way to distribute to these gas stations the exhaustion pump that some of them complain is exorbitant to procure, could the state procure it for them so that they pay in tranches so as to be able to offset the actual cost.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana