Participants at a day's stakeholders' engagement on the 'Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM)' being implemented by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) have lauded the introduction of the concept to make LPG usage more safer in communities and ensure a more protected environment.
The participants called for the availability of the fibre glass cylinders as against the steel ones, modern tubes and regulators to accompany the new cylinders to be distributed by the NPA.
They also called for closer access to communities to enhance accessibility.
Some suggested that the CRM should be given legislative backing to ensure that no government threw away such a laudable concept.
Mr Alhassan S.Tampuli, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, addressing the stakeholders' said so far, 37,000 cylinders had been procured by the authority to undertake the initial phase of the project.
The goal of the policy, he said was to ensure that 50 per cent of Ghanaians had access to safe, clean and environmentally-friendly LPG for increased domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030.
The CEO said the CRM would work at ensuring that consumers got the LPG products at specialised retail outlets after the cylinder recall exercise by the NPA.
He said the authority hoped to develop a market-driven structure to ensure safety, enhance capacity of existing regulators and ensure the existence of robust and standard health, safety and environmental practices in the production, marketing and consumption of LPG.
The move would provide more than 4,500 direct jobs to interested individuals and companies wishing to be part of the LPG value chain.
Additionally, he said the NPA would recruit about 200 safety auditors throughout the country and resource its newly established health and safety security and environmental department to ensure that all safety measures were adhered to.
Mr Gabriel Kumi, Vice Chairman of the LPG Marketers Association, said the initiative, though laudable, could only be successful if the government removed most of the taxes on the product to enable the ordinary Ghanaian afford it.
He said price hikes, as a result of taxes, had in the past contributed and continued to contribute to the low patronage of the rural folks, adding that, "data for the first quarter of 2019 reveal a more worrying user trend... people still prefer their charcoal to LPG due to high prices."
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, said the introduction of the model could contribute to a significant reduction in Petroleum related fires and accidents that had caused some families many woes.
"We endorse the NPA's effort to change the mode of LPG distribution and consumption in the country... it is also gratifying to know that, steps have been taken to consolidate the activities in the LPG value chain with the view to reduce health, safety, security and environmental risks."