You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 10 15Article 590847

Opinions of Sunday, 15 October 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Is it a mere takeaway or Ghana’s potential weapon of mass destruction?

Apparently, I have a ceaseless, preternatural and irrational fear for Liquefied Petroleum Gas despite the apparent useful public awareness and persistent reassurances that it is not dangerous if the possible risks are identified and managed.

But the all-important question is: can LP Gas ever be handled with proper care in Ghana?

Well, sadly, the word care is not in our lexicon. The fact however is, the vast majority of people in responsible positions in Ghana are rather careless.

What is more disturbing, however, is that the unrepentant offenders keep offending, as our existing laws and regulations are not applied strictly.

Dearest reader, if that was not the case, how come we are persistently experiencing fatal, albeit preventable gas related accidents?

In fact, a simple inspection and replacement of any decrepit valves would have prevented the needless deaths and the life threatening injuries sustained by the innocent citizens and denizens.

And how can we advance as a nation when people keep disregarding the laws and regulations with abhorrent impunity without facing any stiff comeuppance?

We have people in important positions, many of whom cannot see their backside from their elbows, yet they are ever happy to pick up their fact cheques. How pathetic?

The crucial question then is: where are the supervisors who are supposed to supervise the men and women who are not prepared to earn their huge and ludicrous wages?

Disappointingly, in spite of persistent and shocking dereliction of duty, no incompliant offenders are ever brought to book. How bizarre?

Let us face it, though, Ghana boasts of all sorts of experts, yet they do not often put their expertise into good use or at the disposal of the nation.

Interestingly, an expert is “a person with a high degree with skill in, or knowledge of a particular subject (Oxford English Dictionary).”

On the other hand, an expertise is the dexterity of an individual to apply the acquired skill or knowledge, also known as the motivation to transfer.

Bizarrely, however, we (Ghanaians), prefer to call the vast majority of higher degree achievers as experts. But whether the so-called experts have the needed expertise to transfer is a million dollar question.

In Ghana today, you hear all sorts of experts, ranging from security, communication, labour, energy, governance, sanitation, finance to marketing amongst others. But the big question is: do the so-called experts really have the expertise to transfer?

As a matter of fact and observation, we are a funny nation fond of bestowing accolades on individuals unnecessarily.

For if that was not the case, how come we have tagged some individuals as experts, yet they more often than not fail to utilise their skills to acceptable standards?

I am afraid, they will remain experts without the needed expertise, so long as they lack the motivation to transfer.

I hate to admit this, but so long as we have so-called experts who harbour can’t do, won’t do attitude in highly important positions, Ghana may sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

Moreover, we have people who prefer to claim perquisite for leadership roles, nonetheless they cannot lead from the front.

So, is it surprising that some of us do not have confidence in some of our institutions?

It is not surprising that I once turned down my Building Contractor’s relentless reminders to install a gas cooker in my apartment in Ghana.

Although the Contractor was extremely baffled on my decision to choose an electric cooker over a gas cooker, I refused to fault him, because he has no personal experience of living with a phobia.

Even in the United Kingdom where the LP Gas safety is of a heightened importance, my phobia for the substance does not taper off by any stretch of the imagination.

Take, for example, despite the fact that a gas cooker is slightly less expensive to manage at home as compared to an electric cooker, I have never purchased a gas cooker due to my unabated phobia.

In my humble opinion, though, a bottled gas (gas takeaway) could be as dangerous as a weapon of mass destruction, if the possible risks are not discovered and managed.

In fact, the possible dangers start from the various filling stations, as we can attest to the recent gas and petroleum related accidents.

Apparently, the lousy regulators and other stakeholders have been sleeping on their jobs, and, their action really poses extreme dangers for the nation.

I am afraid, dearest reader, we are far away from distributing our Liquefied Petroleum Gas to our various homes through the underground pipes. So, the best we could do now is to deploy all safety measures to avoid needless gas related accidents.

In the meantime, let us hope and pray that Akufo-Addo and his government will stick to their guns and bring some obdurate offenders to book to serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.