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Business News of Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Source: Myradio360.com

Tanker drivers warn NPA, gov’t

The Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, has raised pertinent issues against some policies National Petroleum Authority is set to implement.

The polices, they said, hovers around a ban on 10 years old trucks to operate, granting licenses to only transporters who have over ten vehicles and recirculation of gas cylinders to phase out refilling stations.

At a news conference to register their displeasure on Tuesday in Tema, the union said the policies hovers around their daily activities and will render them jobless if NPA does not take a second look.

They thus gave a two-day ultimatum to NPA and government to reconsider their decision or face the union’s wrath soon.

Highlighting the issues of the day, Chairman of the Union, George Nyauno said word has reached them from NPA about its intention to ban all trucks over the age of ten years from transporting petroleum products, against their own agreement with stakeholders in 2012.

He explained that when the issue emerged in 2012, stakeholders went into agreement with NPA and the Ministry of Petroleum that instead of banning those trucks, they should undergo stringent safety checks at specialized selected centers, before they are licensed by NPA.

“It is unfortunate that NPA, having agreed and implemented this agreed process is now intending to renege on this agreed process and revert to its previously rejected proposal”, the chairman retorted.

He wanted to know why NPA would institute a process and turn around to overturn it without any proper consultation with stakeholders.

Again he sought to find out the consideration put in place for individuals who have made huge investments into those trucks and tankers.

Chairman Nyauno also pointed out that their Union finds it disturbing the policy by NPA to require each transporter to have a minimum of ten (10) trucks.

“Our concern over this proposal is the negative effect on the several transporters, who have operated safely and successfully but with less than 10 trucks”, he observed.

Considering the cost of investment that Ghanaian citizens have made in these trucks, he said the Union prefers that policy be structured to support and promote Ghanaian businesses, instead of restricting and attempting to eradicate them.

“…the Ministry of Petroleum, through the NPA is proposing a cylinder recirculation policy, whereby it is intended to phase out exiting LPG refilling stations”, he said.

The chairman argued that it is another ‘cruel’ tactic to seek to phase out a system that has been in existence for over twenty (20) years and has sustained the industry and the economy for all those years.

“LPG marketing and retailing sector is high risk Capital intensive environment therefore attempts to phase out the existing operators threatens massive loss of investments and jobs, including that of drivers”, Mr. Nyauno maintained and suggested that instead there should be a method of building on the old system.

The Chairman therefore urged NPA and the sector Ministry to as a matter of urgency, withdraw the proposal to ban all trucks that are over 10 years old from transporting petroleum products, the proposal to register only transporters and companies with not less than 10 trucks as well as plans to phase out the existing LPG refilling stations in favour of cylinder recirculation model.

He was hopeful that a favorable response from the Ministry of Petroleum and the NPA by the close of Friday 25th November 2016, by which the ultimatum would have expired.