Following yet another major gas explosion, the government has indicated that it will it put its foot down and turn a deaf ear to arguments against proposed reforms particularly in the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, speaking at the scene of the Saturday night explosion at Atomic Junction in Accra, said a policy is in the offing to deal with the safety concerns once and for all.
The massive explosion occurred at the MANSCO gas station at Atomic Junction near the University of Ghana, sparking widespread panic in surrounding areas. Six people have been confirmed dead with 40 people sustaining various degrees of injury.
Describing this explosion as “one too many”, Dr. Bawumia acknowledged the cries and fears of Ghanaians who feel threatened by the siting of fuel and gas stations in areas with high population density.
“…I think what Ghanaians want is solid policy to deal with this matter once and for all. We are going to move to deal with it. It’s not about committees and committees and nothing gets done. We owe it to the country, and government is going to take this very seriously. Discussions were being held last night about the way forward.”
“Some new policies are going to come in and those who are going to try to resist those policies, I don’t think they will be listened to because it is important for us to put the safety of our people above everything else,” the Vice President added.
“We are going to move quite quickly to do it. It’s not going to be one where you wait weeks for it to happen. It’s going to happen relatively quickly. We pretty much have an idea of what we are going to do in terms of policy.”
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has already indicated plans to introduce a Cylinder Recirculation Module , which the LPG Marketers Association and the Association of Gas Tanker Drivers have kicked against in the past.
The policy seeks to ensure the safe distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in the country.
Dr. Bawumia said the explosion marked a “very tragic” day for Ghana, and extended his wishes to those affected before beginning a tour of the hospital giving medical attention to the victims of the explosion.
“On behalf of the president, I would like to extend my condolences to all the bereaved families and also our sympathies to all those who have been injured and affected. In fact, all of Ghana has been affected. It is a major tragedy.”