Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Chief Executive Officer of NPA

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana’s downstream petroleum regulator, National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has re-iterated the government’s commitment to the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model.

Dr Abdul-Hamid gave the assurance at a meeting with LPG Marketers’ Association (LPGMC) in Accra, capital of Ghana, on Wednesday.

“It is not in our interest that four years after the commitment to implementing 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 operate LPG filling stations. We ought to move with the times,” he added.

The Government of Ghana, through the NPA, initiated the Cylinder Recirculation Model, following the Atomic Junction Gas explosion which resulted in loss of seven lives and scores of people severely wounded.

The CRM policy is, therefore, intended to curb gas explosion in the West African nation.

So far, the NPA has piloted the CRM in Jomoro, Obuasi, Kade and Yendi.

Upon assumption of office, the new CEO has been holding consultations with stakeholders in the downstream petroleum sector.

The meeting with the LPG Marketers’ Association afforded the CEO the opportunity 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, Mr Gabriel Kumi said that while the LPGMC is not against the implementation of CRM, it is opposed to how the NPA has handled its implementation all these years.

He said that the NPA has sought to implement the policy as if it were implementing a policy in a virgin territory.
“The NPA was proceeding as if there were no LPG market in Ghana prior to the floatation 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 were implementing a policy from scratch, it is worrying,” he added.

Mr Gabriel Kumi also called on the government to remove all taxes on LPG to make it affordable to many Ghanaians.
He lamented the situation where today, people buy LPG in ‘tots’ and said that it is a disincentive for people to enter the LPG market.

Mr Gabriel Kumi also assured that the LPGMC is not against the CRM and promised the cooperation of the association in seeing to its proper implementation.

He, however, called on the CEO to intervene with the government to grant a partial lifting of the ban on the opening of new LPG stations, since many of them 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 in negotiation, something must always give, and to that extent, he is going to consult with the Energy Minister to request a partial lifting of the ban on the establishment of LPG stations, in order to allow those who have invested in them to reap the benefits of their investment.

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Both the NPA and the LPGMC assured each other of a renewed friendship and cooperation that will see the growth and development of the LPG sector of the downstream petroleum industry. “No more fight,” Dr Abdul-Hamid said, to which the LPGMC responded, “no more fight.”

Source: https://energynewsafrica.com

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