The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has suspended the issuance of permits for the construction of new retail outlets for petroleum products across the country.
This is because the NPA is in the process of auditing the permits issued to various petroleum service providers (PSPs) to establish petroleum product retail outlets, including refilling outlets for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The suspension takes retroactive effect from May 1, 2015.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPA, Mr Moses Asaga, “the audit will culminate in the revision of the requirements for the grant of construction permits for such facilities”.
He explained that “the suspension will affect all applications submitted to the authority from the said date.
Applications that were received before May 1, 2015, but had incomplete documentation will be affected by the suspension.”
Mr Asaga told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the rationale behind the new directive was to ensure that sanity prevailed in the operations of PSPs.
“The growing numbers of filling stations in the country has to be looked at again. Presently there is an uneven spread of filling stations in some parts of the country. Take the northern border towns for instance, between Paga and Bolgatanga, there are 20 filling stations alone and we all know that there are no massive commercial activities in those towns,” he said.
Asked how long the suspension will be in force, Mr Asaga said the timeline was not known immediately.
“We are in talks with the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) to complete a map of filling stations and their respective locations.
We currently have the co-ordinates of all existing filling stations and are in the process of developing them into geographic information systems with pictorial maps of the retail outlets,” the CEO of NPA said.
Those measures, he said, would inform the NPA to take the necessary measures to prevent the proliferation of filling stations in certain areas.
He said it was important for the NPA to take stock of the activities of PSPs to ensure all laws were complied with.
According to Mr Asaga, the safety of Ghanaians was also taken into consideration before arriving at that decision.
“The NPA had sent a circular to all stakeholders on the new decision and would duly inform them when the exercise ends,” he said.
Reaction from consumers
A number of Ghanaians the Daily Graphic spoke to were elated at the decision of the NPA.
Some expressed concern over the dangers posed by some gas filling retail outlets across the country and wished the NPA would take decisive actions to prevent the recurrence of such disasters.