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LPG entrepreneurs worry dropping GHC60 million funding

A GHC60 million funding by the Liquefied Petroleum Fuel Advertising Corporations (LPGMCs) Affiliation into constructing about 100 LPG stores earlier than the 2017 Atomic Junction accident is vulnerable to happening the drain.

The federal government, after the incident which occurred on 27 October 2017, positioned a ban on new LPG retail factors. 

The choice was to permit for correct security, well being and environmental evaluation of all LPG shops throughout the nation; however practically 4 years on authorities is but to carry the ban, thereby leaving the 100 shops vulnerable to going waste based on the Affiliation.

Other than fearing that their funding will go waste if the ban shouldn’t be lifted instantly, the entrepreneurs say they’re additionally beneath strain to repay loans contracted to construct the stores.

“These shops had gone by way of all the required rigorous regulatory processes, value determinations and acquired the required inexperienced gentle earlier than the graduation of acquisitions, building and funding. In all, our members made about GHC60million price of investments into the acquisition of those shops,” an announcement from the Affiliation learn.

Out of the 100, the assertion stated, 14 of the shops had been accomplished and had been awaiting pre-commissioning permits from the Nationwide Petroleum Authority (NPA); 21 had acquired hearth permits, Environmental Safety Company (EPA) permits, Metropolitan Municipal and District Meeting Improvement (MMDA) permits, in addition to NPA building permits; and the remaining had acquired ‘no objection’ letters and had been at totally different regulatory allowing phases.

“A lot as our Affiliation shouldn’t be towards such authorities directives, it might be unhappy to permit our meagre and hard-earned sources to go to waste – particularly when these investments had been made not opposite to the legislation and rules however in accordance with current legal guidelines and rules on the time,” it stated, including that along with regulators, the trade has since skilled a sustained interval of security.

Petition

The LPGMCs petitioned and engaged the federal government by way of the NPA in a bid to get the ban lifted. Subsequently, the embargo was partially lifted on the finish of 2020 and the NPA was alleged to course of the listing of stations beneath building earlier than the Atomic Junction accident, and concern permits to allow them to function. Nevertheless, this has not been accomplished.

“The above however and contemplating the overall funding that had already gone into improvement of the stations beneath building, coupled with the truth that varied permits had been legally obtained, the LPGMCs are urgently interesting to the federal government for permission to be allowed to finish all of the stations beneath building inside a specified interval and function them,” it stated in a contemporary petition sighted by the paper to Minister of Power, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

The Affiliation additional urged that as the brand new LPG coverage – the Cylinder Recirculation Mannequin (CRM) – has not but began, authorities ought to permit them to finish all tasks pending earlier than the Atomic Junction accident.

“It could solely be honest to permit our members to finish and function all of the shops beneath building as a result of these identical shops will in future develop into cylinder trade factors when the CRM is finally rolled out. Thus, this nation will keep away from drowning native investments whereas offering employment to the youth, making a major contribution to the economic system by way of taxes, and growing the penetration of LPG among the many inhabitants in addition to lowering the dependency on wooden fuels to save lots of our forests,” a portion of the petition learn.

“We imagine that the problems raised above, when thought of rigorously and acted upon, will handle our considerations and thereby result in a vibrant LPG downstream trade in Ghana to learn all stakeholders, particularly authorities,” it concluded.

When contacted the executives of the Affiliation declined to touch upon the problem. Though they admitted sending the petition, they instructed the B&FT they’re ready for the minister’s response and motion.

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