The Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Operators Association (GLiPGOA) has issued a one-week ultimatum to government to rescind its decision to introduce the Cylinder Recirculation Module (CRM) because over 7,000 people will be rendered jobless.
According to the group, the policy is ill-planned and will only worsen the unemployment rate in the country.
GLiPGOA is fiercely rejecting the CRM and has threatened to embark on a strike if government goes ahead with the policy. The group says apart from job losses, the programme will not address safety issues.
“An estimated number of 7,000 jobs will be lost if the CRM policy is implemented,” Torgbui Adaklu V, President of GLiPGOA, stated on Monday 7 May 2018.
He said there are 601 LPG stations across the country with a direct employment of 3,000 and indirect employment of about 4,000 people.
Torgbui Adaklu V said the “Cylinder Recirculating Module is designed to deny us of our economic rights”, and will make it impossible for the payment of loans contracted by some operators.
For him, the CRM is against government’s drive to encourage more jobs in the private sector and calculated to replace local operators “with multinational companies in the LPG retail business”.
He stressed that “the CRM cannot prevent gas explosions”, adding that there are many recorded cases of explosions in countries running CRM.
Torgbui Adaklu V said: “The CRM is bound to fail in Ghana”, adding, consumers will be overburdened with high costs for the product, hence individuals without a certain income range will not be able to afford LPG. This, he said, will counter efforts to move away from the use of wood fuels.
The operators are, therefore, giving government a one-week ultimatum to withdraw the planned implementation of the programme or else they will have no option than to embark on a strike.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, on the advice of Cabinet, on 12 October 2017, directed for the model to be implemented as part of measures to ensure that the nation does not experience any more gas explosions after public outcry greeted the massive explosion of an LPG filling station at Atomic Junction in Accra.
The model, if implemented, will ensure that LPG Bottling Plants are sited away from congested commercial and populated centres. The plants will also procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets.
Low-risk gas stations will be designated for the supply of gas to vehicles.
During the May Day celebration held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, GLiPGOA members displayed placards with inscriptions such as: ‘Mr President, Don’t Rush CRM’, ‘Mr President, Ghanaians Are Not Ready For CRM’, ‘We Can’t Pay More For Gas Because Of CRM’, ‘CRM Will Well Our Gas Sovereignty To The White Man’.
Mr Philip Kanbanuori, an executive member of the Association, said at the May Day celebration that the model will not help locals but inure to the benefit of foreigners. He said the model’s implementation will take jobs from the locals for the foreigners. He also noted that there will be a hike in the price of gas.
Mr Kanbanouri noted that the model will not bring any safety measures but will rather compromise and worsen the situation since LPG bottling plants are going to be installed.
He, therefore, called on government to allow them to operate.