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Business News of Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

NPA Boss unsure if MMDAs should compensate explosion victims

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has said it is open to suggestions about whether Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), should be made to compensate victims of fuel explosions or not.

The Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, made the remark when he appeared before Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee on Wednesday.

When asked by the committee whether it was possible for the MMDAs to compensate such victims because they grant building permits to the fuel stations, Mr. Tampuli said “I’m not able to agree or disagree with you.”

He explained that because NPA is an implementing agency, they will ensure that it was done if the lawmakers draft such laws.

“On whether the district assemblies that grant the building permits should be responsible for the payment of compensation, I’m not able to agree or disagree with you. If that is the position of parliament that should feature in the legislation that you will be giving to us. But we think that somebody has to pay…”

The NPA boss also said they will collaborate with the sector agencies if need be.

“Of course, the district assemblies are very much involved in this and I’m sure together with our sector ministry, the ministry of local government will be able to come out with some policy direction in this regard. We are implementing agencies and we can only implement the policies that have been handed to us by our sector ministries,” he added.

Concerns have been raised over the safety of LPG filling stations following the surge in explosions recorded in some parts of the country with the recent one at a gas station at Atomic junction in Accra.

In that incident, about seven people perished with hundreds others sustaining various degree of injury.

NPA inspecting over 600 gas filling stations

Cabinet after a crucial meeting following the gas explosion, issued a nine-point directive, in a bid to help prevent explosions.

Following the decision, NPA begun inspecting some 600 LPG filling stations across the country.

The NPA boss told the committee that his outfit which is undertaking the inspection exercise with sector agencies, hope to finish within the next two weeks.

So far, 299 LPG stations have been inspected with some 43 closed down and a further 35 earmarked for closure.

Mr. Tampuli said about 35 gas filling stations are to close down soon when they finish selling their current stocks for failing the safety checks and other requirements.

“We have marked 35 outlets for close down when the level of their stocks come to manageable levels for us to be able to close down. It is more dangerous to leave the stations with the products that they have than allowing them to sell off and close down.”

“Out of the 299 [LPG filling stations], 132 were in full compliance, and out of the number that we had closed down, we have reopened 34. So if you add the 34 to the ones that we have closed down, it should have been 77, but they have been able to meet the safety protocols so we have reopened them. So we have 43 currently closed down. We’ve been doing this work with the multi-stakeholder committee.

The new addition is the Ghana Standards Authority, and together we have been doing some review of the process that we need to put in place to arrest such situations,” he added.