General News of Friday, 13 October 2017
Policy analyst, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, has criticized a plan by the Ghana National Fire Service to deploy personnel to fuel stations to supervise the delivery of fuel.
In his view, this only amounts to “wasting a fire man’s time.”
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Wereko-Brobby said,” I don’t really see that we need to go and deploy fire service people because they’ve already got so many challenges. Instead, we need to ensure that every station that discharges gas, has the right equipment, knows the right procedure, knows what to do. It’s not about actually wasting a fire man’s time to go and stand at the station. That will not solve the problem… the onus is upon the OMCs members who operate these stations to ensure that things which are likely to create danger are not anywhere near your station.”
His comments follow the fire service’ intention to include as part of its regulations, the mandatory supervision of LPG delivery to stations by a fire personnel. This practice is to ensure that safety procedures are adhered to avoid mishaps.
This policy intention comes on the back of the gas explosion that occurred at Atomic junction in Accra, last Saturday.
Seven persons died, and some 132 others were injured in the unfortunate incident, raising to eight, the number of gas explosions at delivery points Ghana has witnessed in the last four years.
Last Saturday’s gas explosion reignited conversations on where fuel stations in the country should be sited.
Dr. Wereko-Brobby, who is the Chief Executive of the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO), further asserted that in addition to poor maintenance culture, too much is spent on unnecessary talk instead of critically tackling matters to the core.
“The thing we don’t do well is sustaining safety operation of preventive measures. We get into these situations and you realize that everybody is talking plenty. What we need to do is to ensure that the rules and regulations that govern all these things are not only set in law, but systematically and regularly sustained and always monitored to ensure that everyone is doing the right thing.”
“There should be strict enforcement right from the word go of all the rules and regulations that govern filling stations and gas plants; starting with making sure that anybody who hasn’t got a license to operate a gas station should be closed down…. No excuses should be given. I really don’t think we’re dealing with rocket science here,” he added.