Government has been advised to rescind its decision on the introduction of Cylinder Recirculation Module (CRM) to operators of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country.
Private Investor Protection Agency (PIPA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which seeks the welfare of private investors in the country, explained that the move will lead to unemployment in the country.
“The CRM will weaken the LPG business in Ghana,” PIPA observed in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Kwame Buckman.
The CRM is being introduced by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the statutory agency, regulating and monitoring the petroleum downstream in Ghana.
The module is intended to allow consumers to buy already filled cylinder with LPG at some designated gas stations allocated by NPA.
This system means that consumers will no longer own their own cylinders but instead, would purchase LPG in pre-filled cylinders.
The Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company is expected to produce 37,000 cylinders needed for the pilot project in October 2019.
The project is expected to kick-start in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region and Kwaebibirim in the Denkyemboa District of the Eastern Region.
The Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Operators Association estimates more than 7,000 people will lose their jobs if government goes ahead with its Cylinder Recirculation Module (CRM).
The Association said currently, there are about 601 LPG filling stations across the country with direct employment of about 3,000 and indirect employment of about 4000 people.
According to PIPA, it was certain that when the module is implemented, a lot of gas stations that who were into the retail of LPG would be forced out of business, and this will in turn render many Ghanaian jobless.
In its findings, PIPA indicated that the NPA had already toured some gas stations in the Obuasi municipality in the Ashanti Region earmarked to be used as pilot sites to execute their plans of recirculating the cylinders.
PIPA noted that some gas stations in Obuasi, out of the over 650 LPG station across the country, were out of operation for close to a year under the instructions of the NPA.
The NPA per their routine checks to these gas stations hindered their operations by asking them to undertake some maintenance works to improve the safety precautionary measures and standards that are set for gas stations.
Unfortunately, a lot of these gas stations have not been permitted by the NPA to operate even after the completion of their maintenance works, according to the statement.
PIPA said the NPA will go ahead to introduce the module in September regardless of the several pleas from the operators to stop the module from taking effect.
“PIPA is also gathering that just some selected gas stations will benefit partially from this module and it feels that it will not augur well for the many Ghanaians who have spent a lot of money into setting up these stations. To make matters worse for the gas station owners who are now operating under pressure, they have no idea about the modus operandi of the module,” the statement said.
The statement added that PIPA was convinced that this whole deal of the cylinder recirculation module will cause more harm than good to the ordinary Ghanaian and drivers who use LPG in their daily operations.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH