The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says it is engaging all relevant stakeholders to find ways of addressing concerns within the sector.
This comes after the Gas Tanker Drivers Union last Friday declared a sit-down strike in solidarity with its members who cart LPG products across the country.
The Union says the ban on the construction of new LPG retail points five years ago is affecting their operations and their survival.
But speaking to Citi News, Head of Communications at the NPA, Kudum Mohammed said the tanker drivers will be engaged to address their issues.
“These are people who have invested and have not probably had the permission for their projects. I get the concerns of the Tankers Association. Obviously, if the marketers association are not in business, they will also not be in business.”
“We are minded by that and the object of NPA among other things is to guarantee a return on investment to make the field attractive and lucrative. So we are working on it, and we have had the communication that we will be meeting them to bring them up to speed.”
Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, George Nyaunu said the strike will be in force until government addresses their concerns.
“It is very painful that LPG owners borrow from banks and other places to run a business like that for NPA to put an embargo on it for about five years. So, clearly, it’s not the best. It is not creating jobs for the youth. So we are pleading with authorities. They should just lift the ban on the gas filling stations so that, at least, they will also be in business.”
The strike is also coming at a time, the LPG Marketers Association of Ghana is calling on the government to scrap taxes imposed on the product in order to ease the pressure on consumers.
It follows the recent 6% increase in the prices of the product.
The government, after the Atomic Gas explosion in 2017, placed a ban on new LPG retail points to allow for proper assessment of all LPG outlets nationwide.
Although LPG marketers have petitioned the government and the National Petroleum Authority over the years to lift the ban, nothing has been done about it.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, shortly after the Atomic Junction Gas explosion in 2017, directed the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Module.
This meant that gas cylinders will no longer be filled up at gas retail outlets, but cylinders would be bought from distributors already filled when they go empty.
Apart from concerns over the loss of jobs, the Ghana LPG Operators Association has constantly complained that proper stakeholder consultations were not carried out as they were not engaged on the policy.