A former Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Mahama Ayariga has challenged cabinet’s directive ordering the immediate cessation of the construction of new gas and fuel stations across the country.
The new directive is “until further notice” as government rolls out safety and regulatory measures to save lives and properties in the wake of the Atomic Junction gas explosion which claimed seven lives.
One hundred and thirty-two people were injured in the explosion, which also destroyed properties running into millions of Ghana Cedis.
After a Cabinet meeting on Thursday following the gas explosion, the government also ordered the “immediate inspection of all gas stations and the vigorous enforcement of existing regulations by the National Petroleum Authority.”
It also asked for a “review of the current licensing regime to ensure that only those with demonstrable capacity and competence engage in the LPG distribution business.”
In his reaction, however, Mr. Ayariga argued that the directives by cabinet are simply unconstitutional, depriving citizens of their rights to acquire properties.
According to him, cabinet usurped its authority in issuing those directives.
“My argument is that if by law those people have the right to acquire properties and they have acquired it lawfully, they can apply for zoning and it has been zoned, they can apply for permit from NPA, EPA and those agencies have granted those permits, then those people acquire a vested right to carry out a certain economic activity,” he told Starr News’ parliamentary correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan.
“Cabinet meets and directs that they should all stop and I am saying that cabinet has to show the legal basis for the directives that they had given. I am saying that cabinet can meet to take policy decision that this is what we want to do. But those policy decisions must be brought to parliament, enacted into law which then becomes the legal basis to stop people in a certain way,” he stressed.
Published on 13 October 2017 | 12:39 pm at Source