A year after the Atomic Junction gas explosion, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has indicated that it is steadily progressing with the recommendations of the report on the incident. On October 7, 2017, Ghana was thrown into a state of shock following news of a massive gas explosion at Atomic Junction close to the University of Ghana. The situation led to chaos and almost caused a stampede at nearby areas.
Eight months after the explosion, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said it has not yet received the official report, although it has formally requested for the findings from the Ghana National Fire Service. Government also held a crunch cabinet meeting over the explosion to review the safety protocols at the pumps. But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, acting Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli, disclosed that the Authority has now gotten hold of the report, and that some stakeholders have met to ensure that the safety standards at the various stations are rigorously enforced. He further mentioned that, the NPA is on course to meeting all nine directives issued by cabinet after the explosion.
“I am happy to report that all the directives have been attended to although some have not fully been met. We have sought variations for others to enable us meet some market demands. For instance, with the immediate acquisition of permits; we had to go back to cabinet through the Ministry of Energy for a review of that order.”
Full implementation of safety measures, a shared responsibility
Meanwhile, the NPA is counting on the co-operation of all to ensure that standards at the various petroleum product stations are not compromised.
“We are optimistic of the measures we have put in place together with the multiple stakeholders. We believe the general public is also obligated to ensure safety at all material time. It is of no use that, all these regulatory bodies go and conduct their monitoring and inspection, establish some faults and resolve them, only for someone to misconducts him/herself at the station, whiles the general public is looking on. It’s a shared responsibility especially on the part of the owners and workers of fuel stations.”
Cabinet’s meeting over Atomic Gas Explosion
At a Cabinet meeting on 12th October 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo ordered the implementation of interim safety measures for all Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) infrastructure across the country. Key among the measures were the closure of high-risk fuel stations across the country within 30 days, and the halting of the construction of new petrol/diesel and LPG filling points nationwide. There was also a decision to introduce the cylinder re-circulation model. The nine safety measures were to ensure sanity within the fuel distribution chain and to curb explosions.