By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah .
The Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has refuted claims that there is going to be mass loss of jobs under the new cylinder recirculation module, as is about to be rolled out in the country.
This module, according to him, is rather a means of changing the manner in which liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is distributed and consumed, to make sure that the fitting organisations for making sure that all stakeholders within the LPG industry adhere to strict rules to safeguard its use, is ensured.
More so, for the safety, security and health of the general public, the appropriate systems must be put in place to guide the process of implementing this policy, moving forward, to ensure that Ghanaians benefit from it.
Speaking at a meeting which was organised by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) last Friday to solicit the views of all partakers in the petro-chemical industry to roll out the cylinder recirculation module in Accra, Dr. Adam, who spoke under the theme, “Creating More Jobs, Securing Our Safety”, assured Ghanaians that “the local content law stipulates that a venture like this should be fully reserved for Ghanaian equity participation,” hence, his outfit is going to act as the laws has stated.
The Minister, on that basis, said that under the cylinder recirculation module, no gas cylinders are going to be imported into the country henceforth, but, rather, they (the Ministry of Energy -MoE) has given specific indigenous companies the mandate to manufacture, maintain and distribute them nationwide.
This directive by the government has been implemented after a holistic investigation had been conducted into a gas explosion that occurred at Atomic Junction in Accra on October 7, 2017, around 4pm, that led to the loss of properties worth thousands of cedis.
Dr. Amin said that in an attempt by the NPA to curb such catastrophic scenarios, an assessment of all 510 LPG plants and stations across the country has been completed, and findings indicate that 77.4% of these stations are considered as high risk retail outlets.
“These stations will be converted into cylinder distribution centers, while those that have been classified as low risk stations will be considered as auto gas refilling centers with improved standards under the new module.
“New construction and operation standards and guidelines, based on international benchmarks, have also been developed for the new value chain,” he said.
The commencement of the implementation of what he termed the “National LPG Promotion policy under the cylinder recirculation module” has come to ensure that at least 50% of Ghanaians have access to safe and environmentally friendly LPG gas for domestic, commercial and industrial use, by the year 2030.
“Change is difficult, and people do not easily adopt to it, but change, if it is positive, is a necessity and would bring about the progress in our lives,” he expressed.
The Special Guest of Honor for the symposium, the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, congratulated women, especially, the staff of NPA who constitute 40% of the total workforce, adding that, their immense support had brought the NPA to its current status, and encouraged them to continually support the men in their decisions, to improve upon the company’s progress.
She charged all women present to spread the word by encouraging their fellows in using LPG, which is a clean energy, in their homes safely, since it saves time and energy and eases the burden of their domestic chores.
According to research, 71% of the nation’s population currently relies on biomass (firewood and charcoal) for cooking. This goes a long way to negatively affect the environment through deforestation, and is also a major cause of domestic deaths, whereby 13,000 deaths are recorded annually as a result of air pollution.
Samira Bawumia stressed that the LPG is efficient, and advised women to indulge in jobs which would be emanate from the new policy that is being rolled out by the Ministry of Energy to promote the safe use of LPG.
The programm was also attended by some traditional heads, especially, queenmothers, businesswomen and mothers within the Ga community, as well as men from the security services, including the police and fire service.