Deputy CoS pays surprise visit to Royal Gas Station at Bantama
A Deputy Chief of Staff at the presidency, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has led a team of some major players in the Gas and Oil industry, to inspect the premises of Royal Gas Filling Station at Bantama in Kumasi.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye’s unannounced visit to the premises of the gas station, was to assess if the gas station in the area poses threat to people in the area.
Following numerous calls of petitions from scores of people and identifiable natives of the area in relation to the siting of the Royal Gas Station.
The deputy chief of staff, was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Hassan Tampuli, and Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Mohammed Amin Adam.
During the inspection, it came to light that Royal Gas Filling Station was just five meters away from houses even though the law states that the distance between gas stations and houses should be 500 meters.
Mr. Asenso-Boakye said the siting of the facility, which is close to houses, National Cultural Center and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) was inappropriate.
The deputy chief of staff, who is a native of the area, gave the assurance that, appropriate measures will be taken by relevant authorities as soon possible to help address the problem.
For his part, the CEO of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, confirmed that indeed the existence of the gas station in the area poses great danger to the people, adding that the concerns of the petitioners will be addressed.
He announced that in two weeks’ time, based on cabinet directive, a team will tour the country to close down gas stations that are deemed to be of high risk to help avert disasters.
According to him, per the law gas stations should be sited 500 meters away from houses, schools and social centers, among others, noting that the directive would be implemented effectively.
According to Mr. Tampuli gas stations that would be found to be low risk will be converted into auto refill centers, stressing that, the new government policy is intended to avert any future gas explosions.
Deputy Minister for Energy in-charge of Petroleum, Mohammed Amin Adam stated that the new policy is not meant to collapse gas stations, but help modernize and boost the operations of gas stations.
Mr. Amin said the law was not enforced during the construction of Royal Gas Station at Bantama 10 years ago.