Renewed resistance to NPA's Cylinder Re-circulation Module

The Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Operators Association has charged Ghanaians to stand up against government’s plan to roll out the Cylinder Re-circulation Module (CRM). The Association has therefore vowed to resist any attempt to impose the policy on them, saying apart from the unemployment that the module would create in the country, it will also bring chaos among consumers. The National Organizing Secretary of the Association, Nanaba Osei Tutu, issued this warning in an interview on Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Wednesday, August 7. The Association’s call is in support of a research conducted by a non-governmental organization (NGO), Private Investor Protection Agency (PIPA). According to PIPA’s research, when the module is implemented, a lot of gas stations which are into the retail of LPG would be forced out of business and this will in turn render many Ghanaians jobless. PIPA said its findings indicate that the NPA has already toured some gas stations in the Obuasi Municipality in the Ashanti Region to execute their plans of re-circulating the cylinders. It said already some of the gas stations in Obuasi were out of operation for close to a year under the instructions of the NPA.   The pilot project for the re-circulation module is expected to kick start in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region and Kwaebibirim in the Denkyemboa District of the Eastern Region. What is CRM? The Cylinder Re-circulation Module (CRM) is being introduced by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the statutory agency regulating and monitoring the petroleum downstream in Ghana. The module is intended to allow consumers buy already filled cylinders with LPG at some designated gas stations allocated by the NPA. This system means that consumers will no longer own cylinders but instead, would purchase LPG in pre-filled cylinders. The Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company is expected to produce some 37,000 cylinders needed for the pilot project in October. The LPG Association estimates more than 7,000 people will lose their jobs if government goes ahead with CRM. According to the Association, there are about 601 LPG filling stations across the country with direct employment of about 3,000 and indirect employment of about 4,000. Nanaba Osei Tutu told Yen Sempa host Bright Kwasi Asempa that “Ghanaians are not ready for the policy”. He explained that currently, consumers buy any amount of gas if they don’t have enough money to buy the full capacity of the gas cylinder, but with the introduction of the CRM, consumers would not have the luxury of doing that. “If it is being sold for GHȻ80, you don’t have any option to buy less, so if they can’t afford the GHȻ80, they would resort to the use of charcoal,” he explained.

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Effect on taxi drivers Nanaba Osei Tutu said with the policy, taxi drivers who use gas cannot buy gas as they use to. “They will be frustrated because they have few places designed for the filling for taxi drivers. It is not every part of the country.” He said “it will bring heavy traffic to the places designed for the filling of the gas because they are few”. Use of charcoal He noted that the “UN wants us to stop the cutting of trees for charcoal so it is encouraging the use of gas but when the CRM is introduced, people will resort to the use of charcoal again”. He said already, most gas filling stations have been collapsed. Manufacturing of smaller sized gas cylinders Asked about the manufacturing of smaller cylinders to enable everybody afford, Nanaba Osei Tutu explained that “they can manufacture any size but the prices will not be the same.” “It will lead to unemployment. It will be just like the PDS because few people in government are pushing it down our throats. “They are pushing the module on us and it will bring huge business collapse. “We have not thought of the challenges because of some people’s selfish interest and we shall soon name the people who want to push the policy on Ghanaians. Ghanaians should wake up against the policy,” he called. By Kweku Antwi-Otoo||Ghana]]>