The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has hinted steps are underway to seek Cabinet approval for the removal of taxes on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Ghana.
It will help to eradicate energy poverty if move is approved.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, disclosed this last Tuesday at the launch of an awareness and sensitization campaign to promote the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
He indicated the Authority would engage Cabinet to do away with some taxes on LPG to make it more accessible and affordable to Ghanaians, especially the underprivileged.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said there will tax exemptions policies for some time; for investors who would be establishing cylinder bottling plants in the northern part of Ghana for them to have maximum return on their investments.
The goal he stated is to discourage the use of wood fuel (firewood and charcoal) and increase the LPG penetration for domestic, commercial and industrial activities from the current 37 percent to 50 percent by 2030.
According to the CEO, it will go a long way to help check deforestation and preserve Ghana’s biodiversity.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the launch of the LPG campaign was to make LPG affordable, available and accessible to the Ghanaian people.
He emphasized, “We understand that perhaps the majority of the Ghanaian people are poor and most people cannot afford to buy cylinders and gas. So we at NPA in collaboration with our sector ministry are trying very hard to make it easy for people to access LPG.”
Ghana’s Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia, who launched the LPG Awareness and Sensitization Campaign, called on the public, particularly women to adopt LPG as it is a cleaner, safer, and healthier cooking fuel.
She observed, the use of firewood and charcoal as fuel affects climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases and black carbon as well as deforestation through harvesting of wood; even economic trees like shea tree, and oak tree.
According to the second lady, Ghana, like many other Sub-Saharan African countries, are heavily dependant on solid biomass fuels for domestic and commercial cooking and heating.
She acknowledged the fact that women and children walk long distances to collect fuel in the form of firewood in most rural communities. She indicated this time-consuming and exhausting task did not offer much time for other productive activities.
Hajjia Bawumia added, there are many risks involved; including bites from venomous animals and increased risk of sexual assault.
It also limits access to education which tends to restrict opportunities for economic growth, in addition to the adverse health impact.
“Estimates indicate that cooking with LPG saves about four productive hours daily. These extra hours gained daily can be used in productive areas like education, agriculture, and other income-generating activities.
“By increasing access and use of LPG we have an unprecedented opportunity to not only deliver significantly on gender equity, but also improve health, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and enhance livelihoods; all in one go,” she explained.
She urged authorities to increase education on the safe use of LPG; including education on cylinder expiration dates and when to change or replace the various LPG accessories, adding, “I am confident that this campaign will ensure awareness on these issues.”
Deputy Minister of Energy, Owuraku Aidoo, elated the timing of the promotional drive was significant given the current debate about climate change with its associated environmental and health effects.
He explained Climate change has posed a greater responsibility on countries to adapt and adopt more environmentally sound practices to save the environment from further deterioration.