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General News of Saturday, 25 November 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Empty gas cylinder causes confusion in Parliament

There was confusion in Parliament today [Friday], when the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, George Mireku Duker, stormed the legislature with a 6kg gas cylinder in his hand.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, who’s in his first term in Parliament, was in possession of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder to help his presentation during the debate of the 2018 budget statement.

While calling on Ghanaians to accept government’s gas re-circulation policy, the MP argued that, there are a lot of dangerous cylinders in the country which pose severe threat to lives and properties, adding that the re-circulation initiative seeks to correct such issues.

Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku, who was observing proceedings in the House, said the Minority were agitated over the incident, and complained that the cylinder was an “offensive weapon” and should not have been allowed in Parliament.

The Deputy Minority Leader, Klutse Avedzi, said he was shocked that the MP was allowed to bring the equipment to the Floor of Parliament without being stopped at the gates.

But the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, put up a spirited defense for the NPP MP, saying the cylinder was empty hence poses no threat, and that it was only being used for a presentation. But the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who chaired the sitting in Parliament, ordered the Marshall of Parliament to take the cylinder away from the Chamber which he did.

He insisted that the cylinder could still be described as a weapon whether it is filled with LPG or empty.

The new module, proposed by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), means that all gas cylinders will be filled by cylinder bottling plants for onward delivery to retail outlets instead of the LPG outlets, to improve safety of LPG as well as increase access to prevent gas explosions.

Government officially announced the policy which is to be implemented within a year, after a deadly gas explosion incident at Atomic Junction in Accra that killed seven people and injured over 100 others.