The Minority said it was unethical for the Government to blame consumers of the product, particularly taxi drivers, who were only responding to market trends as any witty business man or woman could do.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament in Accra, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the New
Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Navrongo and Minority
Energy, said: “The National Democratic Congress (NDC) refused to tell the truth about the LPG shortage and was hiding behind ‘cleverly selected’ statistics conveniently packaged to put the blame on the users of commercial vehicles.
“The seeming neglect of the major factors that play on the supply side and the huge emphasis on the demand side was most unfortunate.”
Mr Adda said that on August 18, 2011, when the NDC held a press briefing on the LPG shortage, the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority cited heavy burden of subsidy and increase in the nation’s population relating to the use of LPG nation-wide, particularly in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions as reasons for the shortage.
He said the NDC also mentioned limited storage capacity for LPG, adding that the factors presupposed that Ghana was importing insufficient volume of the product to meets its needs.
Mr Adda said these causes that have been peddled by the NDC were not new to the LPG industry, adding that “alluding to these factors should be seen as mere excuses by an administration that is constantly proving to Ghanaians that it is incapable of managing the affairs of the nation.”
He noted that the main cause of the problem was the disruption of the production process of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) by permitting Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to usurp the role of the TOR in the lifting of crude oil, which had reduced domestic supply.
Mr Adda said the Government had failed to do under recoveries regarding the Bulk Distribution Companies regularly, resulting in most of the companies withdrawing their services.
He said the domestic production of LPG, which used to be at 43,000 metric tonnes until 2008, dropped significantly to 7,700 tonnes at the end of 2009.
Mr Adda said the rate of increase in the LPG consumption over the years stood at 15.5 to 60 per cent, which the NDC wanted Ghanaians to believe was not too much for the Government to bear.
He called on President John Evans Atta Mills to allow TOR to operate freely, and to complete the construction of storage tanks and pipelines initiated by the erstwhile NPP Government, and to add more tanks to the existing ones.