The Association of Oil Marketing Companies has decried the manner in which some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are closing down fuel and gas stations within their jurisdiction.
The Association questioned why the lawfully operating outlets are being closed down with no recourse to the law.
Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gapko was at a press conference organised by the OMCs on Thursday in Accra and reports that members are unhappy with the development.
Coordinator of the OMCs Kwaku Agyemang Duah in his speech said members of the Association are one of the most law-abiding business people in the country.
“Even when outlets have been constructed and are being operated, there is continuous inspection and monitoring by the regulators and other agencies to ensure that the retail outlets are operating according to the prescribed standards of performance.
“We ensure that our retail outlets are manned by qualified managers and supervisors whose responsibilities include ensuring that the day-to-day operations at the stations are safe,” he said.
He added therefore, that the unparalleled marauding, demonstration against its legitimate retail outlets and “hitting the panic button exemplified by wanton closure of retail outlets in a ‘Rambo style’ by some unrepentant MMDCEs in an industry regulated by five Ministries and other regulatory bodies, is unwarranted and must be condemned with all the contempt it deserves.”
Last Saturday’s gas explosion at the Atomic Junction in Accra has caused a lot of panic in the country.
The cause of the explosion which claimed the lives of seven, injuring 132 is still unknown, but residents living in areas where gas and fuel stations are being operated have raised an alarm causing their representatives to act. Earlier this week, students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra demonstrated against the citing of a fuel station behind the school.
The students say the presence of the station right behind the school makes them uncomfortable and they feel unsafe.
In the Central Region, seven fuel and gas stations were closed down by the MCE for various offences, but were re-opened after deliberations. The OMCs are not impressed with the development.
Mr Agyemang Duah said the closure of their retail outlets, especially in the manner in which it is being done, will culminate in chaos and anarchy in the society and inflame passion among the citizenry, thereby creating disaffection for OMCs and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies (LPGMs).
“We would like to reiterate that OMCs and LPGMs are neither monsters or criminals, but Ghanaians making a living by legally investing in the petroleum industry,” he said.
The OMCs he indicated, are bent on operating safely and will not do anything to jeopardise the safety of the public.
They will not, he said, condone with any member who violates the rules and regulations of the industry, especially in such a manner that endangers lives and property.
But the due process should be followed in dealing with whoever is found culpable, he added.
“This situation rather calls for a sober, deep-seated thoughts, thorough unbiased and unfettered investigations to unearth the root cause and furnish the nation with sustained corrective and preventive actions which will inform the public in a positive manner while consolidating and improving the existing industry standards for the public safety assurance.”