Business News of Sunday, 30 July 2017
Following the recent spate of petroleum related accidents including explosions and fire outbreaks at fuel stations in parts of the country, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has stepped up its efforts towards curbing such disastrous occurrences in the downstream petroleum sector.
The accidents which have maimed and claimed many lives and also destroyed properties running into several thousands of Ghana cedis have been a source of worry to the public, especially stakeholders such as the NPA.
It is therefore in this regard that, the NPA, which is the industry regulator, has adopted some measures aimed at ensuring safety in the operations of the petroleum downstream players.
Madam Esther Anku, Director of Inspection, Monitoring, and Licensing at NPA, told journalists at a Volta Regional media encounter in Ho about the launch of a ‘Safety campaign’, on the theme ‘People Safety First’ in August to propagate safety consciousness among stakeholders.
“About 15 cases of petroleum related fires were recorded in the first quarter [of 2017] alone and this is not acceptable. The accidents are becoming too many it shows that there is something wrong somewhere and we all have to come together to fight it. Safety is a joint responsibility and we need to act fast to restore confidence in the industry,” she stated.
As part of the campaign, service providers in the industry would be engaged to undertake visible safety activities in their retail premises such as hoisting of banners with safety messages, she said.
Also, managers of Oil and Gas marketing companies would be made to sign safety declarations as part of a yearly “Safety Day” to which they will be assessed for the NPA’s intended Safety Awards Scheme; to honor service providers that would ensure incident free operations over a period.
Coordinator of the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) at the NPA, Mr. Samuel Asare-Bediako said, NPA also intend to train and certify pump attendants, station managers, depot managers and tank drivers to enable them to perform their duties within the confines of the standard operating procedures.
He indicated that the Sector Ministry is spearheading a comprehensive health, safety and environment policy which would guide all players in the industry.
Mr. Rashid Dauda, Volta Zonal Manager of NPA entreated media practitioners to always draw the attention of the outfit to any activity of fuel stations deemed to endanger lives in communities in which they operate, for immediate action.
About 50 media practitioners drawn from various part of the Volta region attended the NPA encounter which forms part of stakeholder engagements to canvas support from the media towards the successful implementation of the safety campaign.