Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, has stated that the Authority’s goal in the energy sector is to help eradicate energy poverty.
In this regard, he stated that the NPA would work with the Cabinet to remove some LPG taxes in order to make it more accessible and affordable to Ghanaians, particularly the poor.
Dr Abdul-Hamid assured investors that he would make a case for tax exemptions for a period of time for those establishing cylinder bottling plants in Ghana’s northern region so that they could maximize their returns.
The NPA President stated this in Accra on Tuesday, during the launch of an awareness and sensitization campaign to promote the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPGA).
The goal is to reduce the use of wood fuel (firewood and charcoal) and increase LPG penetration for domestic, commercial, and industrial activities from 37% to 50% by 2030.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid stated that the goal of the LPG campaign was to make LPG more affordable, available, and accessible to Ghanaians.
“We understand that the majority of Ghanaians are poor, and that most people cannot afford to buy cylinders and gas.” So we at NPA are working hard, in collaboration with our sector ministry, to make it easier for people to access LPG,” he said.
Hajia Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady, who launched the LPG Awareness and Sensitization Campaign, urged the public, particularly women, to use LPG because it is a cleaner, safer, and healthier cooking fuel.
She claims that the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking contributes to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases and black carbon, as well as deforestation from the harvesting of wood and, in some cases, economic trees such as shea and oak trees.
Ghana, like many other Sub-Saharan African countries, relies heavily on solid biomass fuels for domestic and commercial cooking and heating, she said.
Hajia Samira stated that in most rural communities, women and children travel long distances to collect fuel in the form of firewood, and that this time-consuming and exhausting task leaves little time for other productive activities.
She claims that, in addition to being physically demanding, there are numerous risks involved, including venomous animal bites and an increased risk of sexual assault.
This, she said, limits access to education, which, in turn, limits opportunities for economic growth, as well as having a negative health impact, and she added, “It is mostly women and children who bear the brunt of this.”
Hajia Samira stated that LPG as an alternative cooking fuel is clean, safe, and efficient, and she expressed delight that the NPA was promoting the use of LPG for cooking in order to meet the government’s goal of increasing LPG usage to 50% by 2030.
“Estimates show that cooking with LPG saves approximately four (4) productive hours per day.” These extra hours gained each day can be put to good use in areas such as education, agriculture, and other revenue-generating activities.
“By increasing access to and use of LPG, we have an unprecedented opportunity to not only significantly improve gender equity, but also improve health, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and enhance livelihoods all at the same time,” she said.
Hajia Samira advocated for more LPG safety education, including information on cylinder expiration dates and when to change or replace various LPG accessories. I am optimistic that this campaign will raise awareness about these issues.
Hajia Samira praised the Ministry of Energy and the NPA for their dedication to increasing LPG awareness, adoption, and use in households and other sectors of the economy.
Mr. Owuraku Aidoo, Deputy Minister of Energy, stated in his remarks that the timing of the promotional drive was significant given the current debate about climate change and its associated environmental and health effects.
He stated that climate change imposes a greater responsibility on countries to adapt and adopt more environmentally sound practices in order to prevent further deterioration of the environment.
Mr Aidoo stated that it is therefore critical for Ghana to take the lead in discouraging any activity that has a negative impact on the environment, and that his ministry is ready to assist the NPA and other allied institutions in stemming this tide for our collective good.