Gas tanker operators in the country have vowed to resist any move by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), to ban the use of gas tanker vehicles that are over ten years old.
The NPA recently announced that gas tankers which are above ten years will not be allowed to operate by next year.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Drivers Union, George Nyaunu warned that tanker operators are ready to go by any maintenance mechanism that government would outline, but not a ban.
According to him, the union will welcome any move by the government to help them acquire new gas tanker vehicles before the NPA can be allowed to successfully implement the new regulation.
“If NPA is ready to replace our old cars with new ones, we will appreciate that. If they are only ready to negotiate with a bank or a company that will give us new trucks, so when they call you and ask, Mr. Mensah how many trucks do you have and I say three old trucks and they say come we have new ones to replace them for you, we will clap for them,” he said .
“ But if they can’t do that, then they should allow us to use the old ones with good maintenance and works,” he added, stating that members of the association have always adhered to strict safety rules in the industry, including going to all the appropriate institutions required for inspection.
“They know exactly what they are doing. When they are talking about safety we know that safety is the number one priority for tanker drivers because the products that we carry are highly inflammable, we know, we agree, that is why we must maintain our trucks very well,” Mr Nyaunu remarked.
Moreover, this directive had been given to us since 2012 and presently we only engage the services of recognised agencies for all our maintenance works.
Tanker drivers resist door-to-door gas delivery
Meanwhile, Mr Nyaunu also accused the NPA of trying to take jobs from Ghanaians through a new regulation that will ban domestic gas users from filling their cylinders at the pumps, as a door to door delivery system is set to be introduced by the authority.
“The measures being proposed by the NPA will involve awarding a contract to somebody and taking the job from the Ghanaian but we are also Ghanaians. They have workers at their various filling stations so it’s like they are taking the contract from them and giving it to a particular person,” he alleged.
He was of the view that government can rather start a pragmatic measure by extending gas pipeline to all households with meters like it is done in developed countries.
“If it must be done then it must be done well. If you travel to European countries, you see that the government provides gas to them in their house and they pay. Instead of doing this house to house, we can plan something like this.”