LPG operators call off strike

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh & Della Russel Ocloo

Members of the Ghana LPG Operators Association (GLiPGOA) on Wednesday called off their three-day-old strike following discussions with the government about their concerns.

The association embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday, May 21, 2018 over the government’s decision to implement a Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM) policy.

But the Vice-President of the GLiPGOA, Mr Johnson Owusu, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the leadership of the association was reviewing the new proposals presented by the government to determine the next plan of action.

"At a meeting with the Minister of Energy yesterday, we were presented with some options and although we are not satisfied, we will study them, discuss with our members and go back to the negotiating table," Mr Owusu stated.

Proposal


Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy, in a statement issued in Accra on May 22, 2018, said a meeting was held between  officials of the ministry, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the leadership of GLiPGOA, representatives of LPG Marketing Companies and a representative of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs).

The statement added that companies that had completed the construction of authorised facilities be granted operating permits provided they were not in high-risk areas.

In addition, he said, compensation issues would be discussed at the committee level and that the modalities for paying compensation where required would be developed.

The statement, signed by the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah, noted that the categorisation of risk into high and low risks would be expanded to include medium risk.

“Low risk can do auto and bottle exchange; medium risk can do auto and bottle exchange provided they are upgraded to the standard of low risk; and high risk will do only bottle exchange.

“The criteria for determining the risk classification will be reviewed by the committee,” the statement said.

It added that “on the loss of confidence in the committee in addressing their issues, the ministry appealed to GLiPGOA to remain on the committee”.

Torgbui Adaku V, President of Ghana LPG Operators Association

Torgbui Adaku V, President of Ghana LPG Operators Association

Boycott

The leadership of GLiPGOA, on May 18, 2018, boycotted a scheduled meeting with the ministry to discuss the misunderstanding over the implementation of the CRM.

 A key policy shift to accelerate the usage of LPG and also address safety concerns at refilling stations has seen attempts by the NPA to roll out the LPG bottle recirculation model where individuals will no longer be required to own cylinders, but pay deposits and exchange their empty cylinders for a cylinder filled with LPG.

But the association embarked on the strike on Monday, May 21, 2018 with the reason that its concerns with the CRM policy, including the loss of jobs, had not been addressed.

It wondered why the government, through the NPA, was determined to go through with the programme after they had already allegedly engaged a contractor, Blue Ocean, to begin a rollout of the project without any form of piloting to determine how successful the project would be, especially when similar projects in the 1980s and mid-1990s failed.

 But the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Mr Alhassan Tampuli, denied claims that the new LPG policy would lead to job losses

On the contrary, he says thousands of additional jobs would be created when the policy is rolled out

He has, therefore, challenged any individual or group with contrary facts to debate him on the issue.