The Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Operators Association (GLPOA) has cautioned the government to stop the exclusive implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) programme, as it will be a direct threat to investments made by Ghanaians in the LPG business.
Speaking to Citi Business News during the opening of their 5th National Congress in Takoradi, the President of the GLPOA, Kwame Sheikh, said the government should rather implement the CRM alongside the existing filling points, as is the case in Canada and other countries.
This, he said, is to ensure that the investments made by Ghanaians are not hurt.
He bemoaned that, businesses will collapse if the government rolls out the CRM programme exclusively.
“The people who sell LPG in Ghana are 100% Ghanaians and their investment is also 100% Ghanaian. So, if the government of Ghana is coming to roll out another system, which is the Cylinder Recirculation Model, what is going to happen to the businesses of Ghanaians who have invested their money into LPG so far? That is the million-cedi question that nobody is answering now. The government hasn’t told us what to do and is not even telling us when the rollout is going to be affected,” Sheikh said.
He added that the government is “bent” on rolling out the CRM, which will mean that there will be specialized points that will fill the gas for all other people who are already in the industry to sell. This, he said, means that people will have to go to these specialized points to fill their cylinders, and then transport them to their own stations.
Touching on the operational difficulties that may arise from the implementation of the CRM, Sheikh said the lack of tanker manufacturers in Ghana is a situation that threatens Ghanaian investors from taking a lead role in the programme.
“The CRM is seeking to supply gas from some specialized point to all other operators who are in the industry already to sell them from some kind of vehicles, but we wouldn’t know the fate of the tanks. One tank can cost about $30,000 and there is no single company in Ghana which makes LPG tanks, hence every stationary LPG Gas you see in Ghana comes from outside. Nigeria produces their own tanks, Tanzania is on the verge of producing their own tanks and they are ably assisted by their government, but the government of Ghana hasn’t even dreamt of going into that investment. So, when the CRM starts, what is going to happen to the businesses of Ghanaian investors who have bought tanks?” he expressed worry.
Sheikh said the CRM is operated alongside filling points in other jurisdictions.
“We as members of the GLPOA have travelled outside before and we know that in other jurisdictions, the CRM is there, and the filling points are there. And I can say for a fact that in Canada and the United States, CRM is operated alongside the filling points. So why can’t the two go on? However, the government of Ghana is bent on rolling out CRM exclusively,” he noted.
He further conscientized LPG consumers to get prepared for the likely concerns that might come with the Cylinder Recirculation Model implementation.