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Resolve impasse within LPG sector - Consumers entreat NPA

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Some stranded customers at an LPG station
Some stranded customers at an LPG station

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (CPCG) has entreated the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to ensure the speedy resolution of the impasse between operators and the authorities in the sector to ensure the immediate reopening of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) retail points in the country.

It has also called on the Energy Ministry to ensure that all grievances among the various operators in the LPG space are attended to forthwith.

There is a complete shutdown of all LPG retail points in the country due to a series of unresolved issues concerning operators in the industry.

The Ghana National Tanker Drivers Association (GNTDA) is on a sit-down strike following several failed attempts by the association to get its grievances resolved by the Ministry of Energy and the NPA.

Pertinent among the challenges are general welfare and a ban on the establishment of new LPG sites, issues which they say have affected their operations and finances over the past five years.

Statement

A press statement issued by the CPCG in Accra yesterday[August 1, 2022] and signed by the Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah, said the sit-down strike by the GNTDA had energised LPG marketers (LPGMC) and the Ghana LPG Operators Association (GLIPGOA) to also lay down their tools, leading to the closure of LPG outlets in the country.

According to the statement, many projects had stalled as a result of the directive by the NPA after a gas explosion at the Atomic Energy enclave in Accra some years ago.

Many years down the line, it said, the ban was yet to be lifted, leaving the various companies which had invested heavily in the construction of those retail points heavily indebted and distressed and constantly being harassed by their bankers and other financial entities which had advanced loans to them.

The statement further alleged that efforts by actors within the LPG space, comprising the LPGMC and the GLIPGOA, as well as the GNTDA, to get their grievances resolved had proved futile.

“We are currently inundated with calls from obviously stranded consumers who depend on these outlets seeking answers which we don't have.

“The ban, we understand, has led to an about 11 per cent reduction in volumes for the operators over the past one year, instead of the projected 15 per cent increase year-on-year,” it added.

Resolution

According to the Head of Communications of the NPA, Mohammed Abdul Kudus, the Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had called the leadership of the GNTDA, the LPGMC and the GLIPGOA to a meeting yesterday morning, but claimed they failed to show up.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to listen to their concerns and find a lasting solution to them.

“Now we have rescheduled it, but we have not come up with a date yet. We are hoping to have the matter resolved as soon as possible, so that tanker drivers can get back to the road, while the LPGMCs can also operate,” Mr Kudus said.