Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) customers in some parts of Ghana are stranded at gas stations and unable to get the commodity due to the strike action by the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union.
The drivers started the strike on Monday, 1 August 2022, in protest of the government’s refusal to re-open some gas stations that were closed in 2017 after a gas explosion at Atomic Junction, which has affected some of its members.
They also complained of the poor treatment meted out to them by the National Petroleum Authority(NPA) and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company(BOST) and the nature of the tracking devices on their tankers.
On Tuesday, 2 August 2022, the drivers intensified their strike to involve all drivers transporting all forms of petroleum products. The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Marketing Association also joined the protests.
This has led to the shutting down of some pumps at several distribution outlets.
According to the marketing association, the government has banned the construction of new gas stations since 2017, which has plunged some members into debt.
The Chairman of the Tanker Drivers Association, George Nyaunu, said this escalation is necessary to stress their demands.
“We don’t want to take the country to ransom, but with this indication… failing to address the issue, the white product drivers will also join,” he said.
The closure of the stations has left several consumers, including domestic and commercial users, stranded at gas stations across the country.
They are calling on the government to resolve all issues with the striking parties to ensure the supply of gas immediately.
Negotiations with NPA
Meanwhile, the National Petroleum Authority(NPA) says it is making efforts to resolve the concerns of the associations as soon as possible to avert any further dire consequences.
Abdul-Kudus Mohammed, the spokesperson for NPA, indicated that everything was being done to solve the problem.
“The impact is going to be dire if it is not arrested as soon as possible. That is why I said the Chief Executive, Mustapha Hamid, and the Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, have taken a keen interest in getting a quicker solution to it.
“It is not just the LPG tanker association that is on strike. The LPG Marketers Association (LPGMC) have solidarised with them by not delivering at the pumps. So obviously, we are trying so hard to bring all parties to the table to try and have a discussion and get a resolution that will be good for everybody,” he noted.
The NPA has also expressed its willingness to compromise in its discussions with the striking gas tanker drivers.
“If there is the need to give and take, we will do that, and if there is the need for possible re-engineering to the good of all of us, we will do that,” Mr Kudus said in an interview with Joy News.