Saturday, 23 December 2017

7000 LPG marketers to lose jobs due to new cylinder recirculation policy

Adnan Adams Mohammed

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Operators and workers within the Liquified Petroleum Gas retailing business feel threatened of loosing their jobs with the implementation of the new cylinder recirculation policy.

This is due to the fact that, operators of the LPG business suspecting they are being sidelined with implementation of the new policy.

The new policy will entail that, all the gas cylinder filling outlets are relocated to  designated locations out of the reach of residences who will now serve as middlemen, whiles new entities or players will go to them with standardized cylinders to fill and come to sell to domestic users.

This may render ten thousands of Ghanaians who currently work with the refill outlets unemployed.

However, the LPG Marketing Companies Association has been calling for an automatic migration onto the new policy.

The association among other things has expressed dissatisfaction with the plans to convert them to LPG distribution centres, asking the ministry to redefine their role.

They also want the ministry to reconsider the timing for the roll out of the policy as the one-year period given is too short.

The Vice-Chairman of the LPG Marketers Association, Gabriel Kumi disclosed that the layoffs will be the ultimate fate following the inability of their members to sustain their operations due to non-participation in the cylinder recirculation program.

He, therefore, reaffirmed the need for the members to be considered and migrated onto the new policy.

“We employ close to 7000 Ghanaians. So if there is a new policy that doesn’t directly absorb us into the value chain, all our people will likely lose their jobs and we want to avoid that. People we’ve employed will keep their jobs if we’re properly restored into the value chain,” he stated.

At a meeting to address the concerns of the LPG Marketers association on December 20, 2017, a Deputy Minister of Energy Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, directed all parties involved in the cylinder recirculation policy, to head back to a committee set up to implement the policy.

The Association a few weeks ago gave government an ultimatum to meet with them and discuss moves to implement the policy and its impact on their services.

The deadline notice, which elapsed on December 13, 2017, was served Government by the LPG Marketing Association, after several attempts to secure a meeting with the Energy Minister failed.
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Meanwhile, a hint from the Energy Ministry is that, the ministry agreed that the concerns of the association would be addressed by the LPG Recirculation Policy Implementation Committee.

But, according to Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of petroleum, the implementation committee will carefully consider all the concerns the association has raised.

He said, “We have considered that these demands they are making are not beyond us because government wants to implement this policy in a way that is satisfactory to all of us… but at the same time the ministry recognises the fact that we are limited when it comes to the implementation because the regulator that is independent of the ministry has been given the responsibility by law to implement such policies.”

He said the committee will make the necessary recommendations to government who will respond appropriately to ensure that there is a smooth implementation of the new policy.

“If we fail to address these concerns that will mean taking them out of business and as you know it is not the intention of the NPP government to push people out of business… we want existing businesses to grow so they can make more money and pay more taxes to the state, so they can create more jobs for the unemployed in our country,” he noted.

He stressed that the government's decision to implement the policy is for the good of the entire nation as it would end the numerous gas explosions which have already claimed so many lives in the country.