Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid
THE CHIEF Executive (CE) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has reiterated government’s commitment to the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM).
Dr. Abdul-Hamid gave the assurance at a meeting with the LPG Marketers Association (LPGMC) at the Fiesta Royale Hotel in Accra on Wednesday.
“It is not in our interest that four years after the commitment to implement a cylinder recirculation model, it has still not been done,” he said.
“We, at the NPA, are determined to make this policy a reality. In the entire sub-region, it is only Ghana and Nigeria that still operates LPG filling stations. We ought to move with the times,” he added.
The meeting was part of Dr. Abdul-Hamid’s stakeholder consultations in the downstream petroleum sector. The meeting was to afford the CE of NPA to understand the challenges that bedevil the LPG sector and how those challenges can be surmounted.
Welcoming Dr. Abdul-Hamid and his directors to the meeting, the Vice President of the LPG Marketers Association, Gabriel Kumi, said that while the LPGMC was not against the implementation of CRM, it was opposed to how the NPA had handled its implementation all these years.
He said that NPA has sought to implement the policy as if it was implementing a policy in virgin territory. “The NPA was proceeding as if there was no LPG market in Ghana prior to the flotation of the idea of a CRM,” he said.
“Some of us have been in the LPG business for the last 20-30 years and so when the NPA behaves as if it is implementing a policy from scratch, it is worrying,” he added.
Mr. Kumi also called on government to remove all taxes on LPG to make it affordable to many Ghanaians.
He lamented the situation where currently, people buy LPG in “tots” and said that it was a disincentive for people to enter the LPG market.
Mr. Kumi also assured that the LPGMC was not against the CRM and promised its cooperation to ensure it is implemented.
He, however, called on the CE to intervene with government to grant a partial lifting of the ban on the opening of new LPG stations, since many of these were at various stages of completion before the ban was imposed, following the Atomic Junction gas explosion.
Responding to Mr. Kumi, Dr. Abdul-Hamid thanked the LPGMC for their renewed commitment to the CRM policy.
He assured them that changes were going to be made within the NPA to give the LPGMC confidence to cooperate with the NPA to see to the implementation of the CRM.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid asserted that he was going to consult with the Energy Minister to request for a partial lifting of the ban on the establishment of LPG stations, in order to allow those who had invested in them to reap the benefits of their investment.