The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC-GH) has urged the government to immediately resolve pending Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) issues with industry players to restore supply of the product in the country.
It said the Ghana National Tanker Drivers Association (GNTDA); Liquified Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies (LPGMCS) and the Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Operators Association (GLIPGOA) had withdrawn their services effective yesterday because their concerns had lingered for long.
A statement issued in Accra yesterday by COPEC Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah, said consumers would continue to bear the brunt as all LPG outlets remain non-operational.
It said the concerns of the industry players included general welfare and ban on all new LPG sites which has affected their operations and finances over the past five years.
According to COPEC, the strike by GNTDA which energised the others to join, followed unsuccessful attempts by the group to get their issues resolved both by the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
Touching on the genesis of the problems, it said after the Atomic gas explosion about five years ago, the NPA under its former Chief Executive, HasanTampuli, directed the freezing of the permits of a number of stations under construction.
“Several years down the line and this ban is yet to be lifted thereby leaving the various companies who had invested heavily in the construction of these retail points heavily debt distressed as they are constantly harassed by their banks and other finance entities who had advanced various loans to put up these stations,” it said.
According to COPEC, the ban had led to about 11 per cent reduction in volumes for the operators over the past one year instead of a projected 15 per cent increase year on year.
The statement said efforts by actors within the LPG space to get the issues resolved had all proven futile because authorities do not seem to understand the pressures the operators were going through.
“We call on the NPA under the leadership of Dr Mustapha Hamid to ensure a speedy resolution of the deadlock between the operators and authorities to ensure the immediate reopening of these outlets across the country.
“We further call on the Energy Ministry to ensure all grievances of the various operators within the LPG space are attended to forthwith without fail as the looming pressures on the Ghanaian LPG user could only exacerbate with further delays in addressing these challenges,” it said.
BY TIMES REPORTER