LPG Marketers accuse state officials of extortion

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LPG Marketers Association in the country have alleged that, some state officials, including assembly members, have been extorting monies from their members across the country, ever since the deadly Atomic Gas explosion occured, and the follow up directives from government to sanitize the sector.

This revelation came a day after the Association suspended the sale of LPG products across the country, with the excuse that they are carrying out maintenance works on their facilities.

However, the Vice Chairman of the LPG Marketers Association, Gabriel Kumi, has said their decision to suspend operations nationwide, is to protest what they consider as unfair treatment by authorities.

LPG operators, during the latter part of last week announced the rescheduling of the maintenance of their retail outlets with immediate effect.

The move according to the businesses, is to ensure uninterrupted supply of liquefied petroleum gas.

The decision was arrived at after an emergency meeting between OMCs, Ghana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Operators and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

LPG marketers had closed their premises to the public for two days, citing maintenance works at the outlets to ensure compliance and safety by members.

The exercise has been met with stiff criticism from the public.
Many have said the shutdown is a deliberate move to frustrate the supply of gas, considering that the LPG Marketers have vehemently kicked against Government’s approach towards ensuring safety in the sector following the Atomic Junction explosion.

Mr. Kumi indicated that, some stations are even facing a threat of closure by the assembly members who are supposedly extorting money from them. “We have assembly men going round our stations that they want to close them down. There is a whole extortion business going on by this team.”

The Association’s members, some of who shutdown from Wednesday, October 19, have not indicated when it will allow members resume regular operations. The Association had indicated that, the closure was to allow for a safety audit.

Mr. Kumi has however clarified that, the move is primarily a response to government’s decision to close down some high risk fuel stations.

“This is as a result of the measures being taken by the authorities to close down our stations. If an accident has occurred, we feel that who else should prevail? We have identified what the problems are; so let’s deal with the problems, but we have the authorities going round, closing down our stations, extorting monies from our members, and we feel that this is a very unfair treatment. We are just reacting to what the authorities are doing. We are putting together a maintenance team.”

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed







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