Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) retail outlets in the country have been shut down by operators following a sit-down strike by gas tanker drivers in the West African nation.
When the energynewsafrica.com team visited some of the LPG outlets in Tema, in the Greater Accra Region, the stations were closed with ‘No Gas’ signage placed at the entrance to notify their customers.
“We are just pleading with them that whatever their problem is, they should resolve it so that they can start producing, so we can get some (LPG) to do our household chores,” one of the consumers said.
“I use gas for my business. Without it, it would be hard. I have to resort to charcoal until they resume work,” another complained.
Addressing a press conference in Tema on Monday, Chairman of the Ghana Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, George T. Nyaunu, raised concerns about the ban on the LPG projects under various stages of construction and sanctions against transporters by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) over claims that tanker drivers have been tampering with their cargo tracking seal.
He noted that the ban is affecting the investments by the LPG operators.
“Most of them had borrowed to invest in the construction of these stations before 2017. These investments by indigenous Ghanaian investors amount to not less than $10 million or approximately GH¢85 million. But with the imposition of the ban, these investments have been abandoned and are wasting away at various sites across the country for the past five years.
“Most of these investments were done with loans contracted from banks in the country. This has put these investors under undue pressure from the banks to repay the loans at very high-interest rates, to the extent that some of our employers are being pursued through the courts and their assets being confiscated to defray these loans,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, reacting to the issues, called on the government to resolve the issues as soon as possible to avert LPG shortages.
“The ban, we understand, has led to about 11% reduction in volumes for the operators over the past one year instead of a projected 15% increase year on year.
“We are currently inundated with calls from obviously stranded consumers who depend on these outlets seeking answers which we don’t have,” the statement pointed out.