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LPG operators declare strike over cylinder re-circulation

The Ghana LPG operators association has planned a strike beginning next week as part of a protest against the gas cylinder re-circulation policy which government intends to introduce.

According to the association, the re-circulation policy will render about 7,000 people jobless and wants government to cancel it.

The President of the association, Torgbi Adaku V in a letter to members stated that the strike will start from Monday May 21, 2018.

“After a grace period of One Week was given to enable a favourable response to be issued by Government elapsed, the 2nd GLiPGOA National Emergency Meeting organised on the 15th of May, 2018, unanimously resolved that with effect from 6:00am, Monday the 21st of May, 2018, a nationwide strike action be called and all services to the general public at all LPG filling plants in the country should cease then until further notice,” the letter read.

Why the cylinder re-circulation policy

Government after the gas explosion at Atomic junction last year decided to implement the cylinder re-circulation programme.

The plan is to stop LPG outlets from filling empty gas cylinders as part of measures to stop gas explosions.

LPG bottling plants are to be set up outside of residential and commercial areas for them to fill cylinders for sale at the retail outlets.
According to Torgbi Adaku, discussions on the re-circulation policy started in 2012 and they [operators] kicked against it. In 2015 it was brought back and they again kicked against it because it does not favour the operators.

He said the operators have been managing gas filling stations for almost 30 years and “what they [govt] are doing is not fair to all of us and when you tell them, they don’t want to understand you,” Torgbi Adaku said in a radio interview with Accra based Class FM Thursday evening.

He explained the posture of government officials on the matter has made it difficult for the association to be able to continue to dialogue with them on the policy and that the Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Mr Hassan Tampuli for instance, was politicising issues and accusing him {Torgbi Adaku] of attempts to sabotage the policy.

He argued that the programme was designed to deprive them [operators] of their economic rights and its implementation will make it impossible for them to pay back loans from the banks.
The programme, he said, cannot prevent gas explosion if that is the sole reason why it is being introduced.

“In fact, we have many instances of gas explosions in countries running the CRM (Cylinder Recirculation Module), the model is an ill-prepared policy and it is bound to fail,” he said.

Commenting on the development, the vice chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Mines and Energy, George Mireku Duka who is also the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem said he was surprised that the operators were “abandoning the programme,” something they have been part of since day one.

He said Torgbi Adaku, because of his position as a chief has been offered and accorded all the “respect” at meetings on the policy and was therefore surprised that the association has decided not to be part of the whole process again.

“If you are talking of challenges he [Torgbi Adaku] is envisaging, obviously we can come together and address those challenges instead of boycotting holistically,” the MP said.

Below is a copy of the letter from the association asking members to embark on the strike

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