The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana (COPEC-Ghana), has urged government to ensure that the investment of local LPG retailers are not ruined through the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Module (CRM).
Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, admonished government to desist from hastily implementing the module to the detriment of local businesses.
“The government should, at least, make every effort to meet the LPG operators half-way; it would not be good enough to just collapse their businesses in the name of establishing a new module,” he told Class91.3FM on Friday, 18 May 2018.
Mr Amoah was of the view that “government should, at least, pilot the programme for some time and allow the two systems to co-exist. … We shouldn’t rush the implementation Cylinder Recirculation to the detriment of the local investment we have done so far”.
Members of the Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Operators Association (GLiPGOA) have declared an indefinite strike and will be ceasing the sale of LPG to the public beginning Monday, 21 May 2018.
But Mr Amoah is appealing to the LPG operators to hold on with their strike as government tries to address their concerns.
Following the strike announcement, a section of LPG users have also appealed to government to ensure that the strike does not come off.
GLiPGOA is fiercely rejecting the CRM because its members believe 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.
Torgbui Adaklu V, President of GLiPGOA, said they had to pull out of the programme because all attempts to get President Nana Akufo-Addo, who ordered the implementation of CRM, failed, hence their press conference last week to call government’s attention to the lapses in the CRM programme and withdraw it.
However, he said, all efforts by GLiPGOA to have authorities halt the process within the given period failed to yield results, and, so, they are left with no choice than to cease operations to press home their demands.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, on the advice of Cabinet, on 12 October 2017, directed that the model 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.
However, GLiPGOA maintains that apart from job losses, the programme will not address safety issues.
Torgbui Adaklu V had earlier stated on Monday, 7 May 2018 that there are 601 LPG stations across the country with a direct employment of 3,000 and indirect employment of about 4,000 people.
According to the group, the “Cylinder Recirculation Module is designed to deny us of our economic rights”, and will make it impossible for the payment of loans contracted by some operators.
Torgbui Adaklu V said 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.
He emphasised that: “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.