The Association of Liquified Petroleum Marketers has expressed fears that government’s vision of doubling the current 25 percent LPG consumption rate by the year 2030 may be a mirage without reducing taxes on the commodity. It says LPG consumption has for the past three years been going down as a result of increasing price of the commodity and would further drop if the taxes are not reduced. It is against this backdrop that the marketers are calling on government to as a matter of urgency reduce the taxes to save Ghanaians the ordeal of using charcoal to their own detriment and that of the nation. Reports indicate that Liquified Petroleum Gas consumption had been decreased to 16 .1% since 2016 and static in the first quarter of this year.
Gabriel Kumi, Vice Chairman of the association , made the call in Takoradi Wednesday during western region’s turn of the nationwide stakeholders’ engagement by National Petroleum Authority on the cylinder recirculation model, safety measures and how best the new LPG policy could be fully implemented.
He noted that although the association wholeheartedly supports all safety measures being put in place by NPA to safeguard the life of consumers, it has problem with penetration. According to the vice chairman, an average Ghanaian household currently spends between GH40 to GH80 CEDI’s on LPG, a situation which he said prevents majority of the citizenry from using the product.
In his view, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, might have forgotten LPG when removing nuisance taxes on various commodities early this year and urged him as a matter of urgency to add it to the list..
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The Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Alhassan Tampuli, said over 4000 new jobs would be created during implementation of the new policy and urged Ghanaians to support the process. He said no current employee of the Authority would be dismissed when implementation kicks off and urged them to continue giving off their best
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In an addressed read on his behalf, the regional minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah recalled some of gas explosions that have taken place in the country including the one at GHUMCO in Takoradi where more than two hundred people got injured. He said this makes the issue of safety very important in handling petroleum products.
Some of the residents, during open forum stressed the need for sustained education, including mounting of billboards at vantage points to remind members of the public on the necessary safety measures to adhere to in handling gas. They also called for an employment quota out of the aforementioned figure for the region.