The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has implemented strategies to eliminate huge jump in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) due to the implementation of the Cylinder Recirculation Model (CRM).

One of the strategies is the introduction of a tender programme for the importation of LPG, which has significantly reduced the premium on the purchase of LPG. The programme has brought down the price of LPG from $100 per metric tonne (MT) to $30 MT, giving the country a saving of $70 MT which will be used for investment in cylinders and bottling plants under the CRM.

The Bono Regional Manager of the NPA, Kwadwo Odarno Appiah, gave the information at the Bono Regional version of the NPA town hall meetings on CRM in Sunyani, the Bono Regional capital on Thursday.

He said NPA would continue to engage the Ministry of Finance to consider the removal of certain taxes to reduce the price of LPG to make it affordable for all.

Mr Appiah said Ghanaians would begin to exchange their old cylinders for new cylinders under the CRM in the coming weeks.

The meeting, which brought together hundreds of people, was aimed at sensitising the public on the implementation of the CRM.

It was also to update and educate them about the policy, its intended purposes and solicit their support in the implementation of the policy.

Mr Appiah said the NPA had had several engagements with service providers, industry experts and external stakeholders to ensure successful implementation.

According to him, they had also conducted several consumer sensitisation campaigns and programmes to educate the public on CRM and the safe use of LPG in general.

Mr Appiah urged Ghanaians to patronise the implementation of the CRM to avoid smoke related diseases.

He said a recent study showed that about 18,000 people in the country die yearly from the use of unclean fuels.

Mr Appiah said the smoke from cooking with firewood and charcoal caused several diseases to its users, particularly women, who always spend hours in the kitchen cooking.

“The smoke also makes them weak and when used over a long period affects their eyes,” he said.

Mr Appiah said the cooking style in Ghana and most parts of Africa had put the lives of women in danger, because of the smoke they inhale from firewood and charcoal during cooking.

He said it was for that reason that the government had always promoted LPG as a cleaner, safer and healthier alternative fuel for cooking, since it did not produce smoke.

Mr Appiah added though acquiring firewood was free, they should be mindful that the diseases the smoke would bring to them could cost them their lives, which made it more expensive than LPG or any other fuel.

He pointed out that the NPA immediate target was to achieve 50 percent access by 2030 and explained that under the model, consumers would not own cylinders.

Mr Appiah said anyone who wished to use LPG could just walk to a cylinder exchange point, register, and gain access to cylinder to use, stressing that “Consumers will only pay for the LPG”.

He said the government considered several issues that had created barriers to people in using LPG and had come up with CRM.

Mr Appiah urged the LPG marketing companies and dealers in the region to embrace CRM, as it would improve their operations and give them access to more consumers, increase jobs and create value in the process.

He said NPA had put measures in place to serve all communities with LPG without having to travel long distances.

Mr Appiah said the NPA had had several engagements with service providers, industry experts and external stakeholders to ensure successful implementation.

He said they had also conducted several consumer sensitisation campaigns and programmes to educate the public on CRM and the safe use of LPG in general.

The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene, said it was imperative that they took pragmatic steps to ensure that the adverse effects of the charcoal and firewood were brought to the barest minimum if not eradicated completely.

She said the use of firewood and charcoal had adverse effects on the forests resources and the entire eco-system.

Ms Owusu-Banahene urged the public to support the government efforts to ensure that majority of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean, and environmentally friendly LPG.