Filling Station Owners Condemn Calls For Closure Of Stations

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) has condemned demonstrations and calls for the immediate closure of legitimate oil and gas retail outlets by a section of the public and some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

According to the association, such actions can culminate into chaos and anarchy in the society and inflame passion among the citizenry, thereby creating disaffection for Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) marketers.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday on the Atomic Junction gas explosion, President of AOMCs, Kwaku Agyemang Duah posited that OMCs and LPG marketers are neither monsters nor criminals, but are Ghanaians making a living by legally investing in the petroleum industry.

He noted that some marketers have their administrative offices within the confines of such outlets, and it is therefore their intent to operate safely from their outlets.

Agyemang Duah stated that the October 7, 2017 incident rather calls for sober reflections, thorough and unbiased investigations to unearth the root causes and furnish the nation with sustained corrective and preventive actions to boost public confidence whilst consolidating or improving the existing industry standards for public safety assurance.

According to him, it is sad and disheartening to hear, read and witness a barrage of comments from some pseudo experts with little or no knowledge and understanding of the LPG industry, as well as those who should have known better but are rather throwing dust into the eyes of the public with falsehood, half truths and inaccurate information.

“Such flammable utterances, innuendos and castigations have the tendency to kill initiatives and denigrate the OMCs and LPG marketers who have invested in these retail outlets and have been rendering meaningful services to the country at large,” he bemoaned.

Agyemang Duah noted that retail outlets are sited in areas zoned for the purpose by the Town and Planning Department.

He explained that NPA would only grant an applicant a construction permit when all the various requirements have been met.

These, he enumerated, include a letter from Town and Planning Department indicating that the site has been duly zoned for the activity, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit, building permit by MMDAs, fire permit by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA),.

Agyemang Duah stressed that the above indicates that the industry is one of the most highly regulated in the country, which implies that the association members are among the best law-abiding business operators in the country,
While they wait for the investigation report, he announced that the association would intensify the peer audit activity prioritising outlets in congested areas, especially during the discharge of LPG from bulk road vessels, and continue to provide the requisite training for all personnel, especially the attendants, drivers and their mates.