The Ministry of Energy has begun the process of reviewing the permit application process for operators in the petroleum industry.
The review, expected to help curb the rampant explosions at filling stations, includes severe sanctions against companies that flout the industry regulations and the authorities who sign the permits for those firms.
According to the Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, the move formed part of measures being put in place by the ministry to regulate activities in the industry.
“Over the last three years, explosions have increased and this is very unacceptable, considering the number of people who get injured and die as a result of the explosions,” he said at the launch of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) Safety Week celebration in Accra yesterday.
As part of the activities marking the celebration, AOMCs will carry out programmes that will throw more light on their operations. This will include public education and media engagements.
Emphasis would be placed on the major safety measures oil companies should adhere to in the delivery of their services.
Outlining what the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) needed to do to ensure safety, Mr Adam tasked the authority to engage the services of private safety audit teams to carry out regular checks on companies.
“We need private safety audit people to be given zones where they will carry out regular checks on the equipment and operations of companies. It appears most of the people are not properly trained,” he said.
He also stressed the need for the Energy Ministry, AOMCs and NPA to form a strong partnership to ensure that issues about the safety of the public were promoted efficiently.
“We all need to come together and create a solid path towards the regulations of the industry,” Mr Adam stressed.
The Chief Executive Officer of AOMCs, Mr Kwaku Agyemang Duah, explained that the rationale behind the Safety Week celebration was to create the platform for oil markeing companies to discuss their operations with the public.
He promised that higher safety standards would be ensured in the operations of the industry to avoid any mishap.
Mr Duah also urged oil service providers to put in place extra measures, including regular maintenance of equipment, to ensure absolute safety.