LPG retailers declare indefinite strike

By Clement Edward Kumsah
LPG_retailers_declare_indefinite_strike

Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Operators Association (GLiPGOA) has said they will begin an indefinite strike ceasing the sale of LPG to the public from Monday 21 May 2018.

According to Torgbui Adaklu V, President of GLiPGOA, the decision was taken after a grace period of one week was given to enable a favourable response from government.

They had issued an earlier ultimatum for government to stop its intended Cylinder Recirculation Module (CRM).

However, the 2nd GLiPGOA National Emergency Meeting organised on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 “unanimously resolved that with effect from 6:00am, Monday 21 May 2018, a nation-wide strike action be called and all services to the general public at all LPG filling plants in the country should cease until further notice”.

GLiPGOA is fiercely rejecting the CRM because they believe over 7,000 people will be rendered jobless.

According to the group, the policy is ill-planned and will only worsen the unemployment rate in the country.

Torgbui Adaklu V said they had to pull out of the programme because all attempts to get President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is understood ordered the CRM, failed, hence their press conference last week to call government’s attention to the lapses in the CRM programme and withdraw it.

However all efforts by GLiPGOA to have authorities halt the process within the given period failed to yield results and so they are left with no choice than to cease operations to press home their demands.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, on the advice of Cabinet, on 12 October 2017, directed for the model to be implemented as part of measures to ensure that the nation does not experience any more gas explosions after public outcry greeted the massive explosion of an LPG filling station at Atomic Junction in Accra.

The model, if implemented, will ensure that LPG Bottling Plants are sited away from congested commercial and populated centres. The plants will also procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets.

Low-risk gas stations will be designated for the supply of gas to vehicles.

However, GLiPGOA maintains that apart from job losses, the programme will not address safety issues.

Torgbui Adaklu V had earlier stated on Monday 7 May 2018 that there are 601 LPG stations across the country with a direct employment of 3,000 and indirect employment of about 4,000 people.

According to the group, the “Cylinder Recirculation Module is designed to deny us of our economic rights”, and will make it impossible for the payment of loans contracted by some operators.

Torgbui Adaklu V said the CRM is against government’s drive to encourage more jobs in the private sector and calculated to replace local operators “with multinational companies in the LPG retail business”.

He stressed that “the CRM cannot prevent gas explosions”, adding that there are many recorded cases of explosions in countries running CRM.

He emphasised that “The CRM is bound to fail in Ghana”, adding, consumers will be overburdened with high costs for the product, hence individuals without a certain income range will not be able to afford LPG. This, he said, will counter efforts to move away from the use of wood fuels.

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