You are here: HomeNews2008 02 11Article 139104

General News of Monday, 11 February 2008

Source: Public Agenda

Doctor's Wife Flouts Ban On LPG Cylinders

Public Agenda can report that the wife of a Doctor at the Ministry of Health in cahoots with higher level connections at the Energy Commission has flouted the ban on second-hand LPG bottles in Ghana.

This lady has with signatures from the Castle and Energy Commission, managed to clear and sell 17 containers of the banned cylinders with more containers waiting at the ports to be cleared.

Public Agenda's investigations have revealed that although the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) is refusing to warrant the clearance of the rest of the banned second-hand LPGs at the port, letters from the Energy Commission bearing fake (cc) to GSB and other agencies but without actual copies being delivered have been issued by a top official with support from the Castle as a reprieve on the ban for kickbacks.

One agitated staff at the Ghana Standards Board who leaked the information to Public Agenda said at "a time when Ghanaian consumers are on high alert on LPG-prone disasters it is very worrisome that government agents and officials are putting the nation's health and safety at risk for their greedy kickbacks."

Second-hand LPGs are classified as high risk goods and have on paper been banned in Ghana, but in practice still find their way onto the economy.

Sensitised by the hazards the banned bottles can cause the public, the Ghana Standards Board and the National Petroleum Authority sponsored advertisements in the Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times and the Chronicle for three consecutive times to alert consumers and the brains behind the deal that the ban on imported LPG has not been lifted.

Paragraph two of the advert states that the Ghana Standards Board and the National Petroleum Authority wish to bring to the attention of importers and the general public the Legislative Instrument (L.I) 1693 (2001) which states, inter alia "that in exercise of the powers conferred on the Minister responsible for Trade and Industry under section 12 and 13 (a) of the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503) the importation of used Liquefied Petroleum Cylinders is hereby prohibited."

"By this notice the Ghana Standards Board and the National Petroleum Authority wish to inform all importers that the provision would be strictly enforced at all the entry points of the country", the advert said.

Relevant Links

West Africa Economy, Business and Finance Crime and Corruption Ghana

It also advised the public to desist from patronizing used LPG cylinders since they are the main cause of explosions and fires in homes. In the best part of last year the country was hit by gas explosions in houses and on the streets, resulting in the loss of property and lives.

For instance, in September 2007, a gas explosion in Ghana's second-largest city Kumasi wounded about 135 people, a hospital official confirmed. These explosions and ensuing consequences perhaps caused the government to ban the importation of used LPG cylinders.

In fact, the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company, (GTM) was specifically set up to manufature tailor-made cylinders for local use. But over the years poor management and perhaps, government interference have combined to make the company a 'white elephant.' Was the GTM stifled to pave the way for importation of the killer LPG cylinders?

Join our Newsletter