The Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, has asked the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to redefine the ownership policy of cylinders under its new Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM).
He said the policy in its current form made it a bit difficult for people to buy into it and to embrace it for easy implementation.
Nana Asare pointed out that it was a bit confusing to ask people to pay to have their old cylinders replaced and still not be owners of same.
That aspect, he noted, was incomprehensible and would need some more education and fine-tuning for people to buy into the idea.
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Nana Asare, who was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the NPA on the CRM in Kumasi last Tuesday, suggested that the authority should liaise with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association (LPGMA), to review guidelines which required that people paid to have their cylinders replaced for them, to have a better appeal.
Per the new LPG promotion policy under the CRM, consumers will have their old cylinders replaced by gas marketing companies that will be operating in their communities.
The companies will replace all the old cylinders with new ones that will be distinct to the particular servicing company and at a fee to the consumer, aside from the cost of refilling.
That aspect, according to the Amakomhene whose position was supported by most of the participants, was contestable.
Most of the participants, majority of whom were women, said if the government intended to get everyone on board, then it should not ask people to pay to have their old cylinders replaced, since they would not own the cylinders.
They said consumers should rather be compensated for losing their cylinders which they bought with their own money and would have to cede their ownership to the marketing company under the new policy.
While commending the government for the introduction of the policy to ensure safety in homes and reduce fire outbreaks as a result of gas explosions, the participants called on the government to review certain aspects of the policy to enhance its appeal.
They noted, for instance, that the policy under which consumers would be restricted to a particular marketing company and not be allowed to choose service providers as and when they wanted, did not augur well for competition and free market operation.
Addressing the participants, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, explained that the CRM was the implementation model for the National LPG Policy.
He said it was aimed at providing direction for the marketing and distribution of LPG in a safe and efficient manner and to facilitate an increase in access to LPG nationwide.
“This will help achieve the policy goal which is to ensure that at least 50 per cent of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean and environmentally friendly LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030,” he said.
Mr Tampuli explained that the main objective of the policy was to develop a market-driven structure to ensure safety, increased access and the adoption of LPG, as well as to enhance the capacity of the regulatory institutions to enforce the regulatory requirements of the new market structure.
He said it was also to ensure safety and good environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG and “ensure the sustainability of supply and local content and participation in the LPG sub-sector in compliance with the Downstream Local Content Policy.”