The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), was already taking serious action against some fuel filling stations, before the new directives from President Nana Akufo-Addo, as it had already shut down 21 Liquefied Petroleum Gas filling stations across the country for failing safety standards.
The NPA was spurred into action following the Atomic Junction gas explosion, and speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, said they hope to sustain the momentum in ensuring safety regulations are adhered to. Following a Cabinet meeting to take decisive actions on lax safety standards at some fuel stations, the President directed the deployment of a task-force to within 30 days, assess the risk that the country’s current LPG infrastructure poses in terms of public health and safety.
Filling points deemed to be “High risk stations” will be immediately closed down, in accordance with relevant law and “Low risk stations will be designated for the supply of gas.”
Mr. Tampuli said the NPA was clear on the directives that were given by government, and on “how to go about the execution.”
“Yesterday [Thursday], our inspection and monitoring team closed down 21 stations across the country, and that is just the number of stations that we monitored, and today [Friday], they will continue,” Mr. Tampuli said.
The NPA will be expected to review the safety protocols along the entire value chain of fuel distribution, with help from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the National Fire Service (NFS), the Town and Country Planning Department of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Factories Inspectorate Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
Recruitment of safety auditors
The NPA will also be in charge of the recruitment of 200 safety auditors to join the staff of the Factories Inspectorate Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, to sustain checks on all stations to ensure safety standards are being adhered to.
Mr. Tampuli assured that “the 200 safety auditors are going to be people who are eminently qualified to do the work for which they are being hired.”
“They have to have the necessary background in terms of health, safety, and environment qualification, so it’s not going to be just any person without the necessary qualification.”