Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has revealed that the authority has made a strong case to Cabinet to grant it a dispensation to partially lift the ban on the siting of new gas filling stations in the country.
According to him, the gas industry is 100% Ghanaian, and therefore, the authority is very keen at supporting “these Ghanaian businesses and getting them to cut their losses.”
Answering questions at the public hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament Tuesday, Dr Abdul-Hamid indicated that the NPA had gone to Cabinet’s committee on infrastructure, which had cleared the proposal, waiting to be placed before the main Cabinet for consideration.
“We have written, through our minister, to Cabinet asking to give us a dispensation to partially lift the ban on the siting of new gas filling stations.”
“The truth of the matter is that as at October 2017, when the ban was imposed, there were many people who had already taken bank loans and other forms of financial support to put up their gas filling stations and they were very in advanced stages of completion,” he noted.
The NPA boss added, “To be honest, this is also one of the few industries where all the players are Ghanaians. The gas industry is 100% Ghanaian; they are all Ghanaian entrepreneurs, and therefore, we are very keen at supporting these Ghanaian businesses and getting them to cut their losses.”
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the NPA was confident that at the next cabinet meeting the authority would get the lifting to allow prospective gas filling station owners to go ahead with their setup, saying “our minister has indicated that at the next cabinet he will be there to defend our proposal.”
“After all, the cylinder recirculation model (CRM) that we are intending to roll out will go …, first of all, it hasn’t come on stream and so it will be unfair to hold these people, while the CRM has not come in place.
“Even if the CRM comes, my argument is that the two systems should run concurrently for a while, whereas we gradually phase out the old system. We believe that the next cabinet [meeting] should give us permission to lift the ban,” he intimated.