The Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL), an advocacy group primarily involved in community-based initiatives and speaking for the rights of the Liberian people, has applauded the Liberian People for exercising what it calls “high degree of patience” amid the shortage of gasoline on the Liberian market.
Addressing a press conference in Monrovia on Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Executive Director of CSNL, Mr. Sensee Kiadii, said the CSNL was concerned that the shortage of gas has inconvenienced both vehicle owners and commuters. However, he reminded the Liberian public that, while the situation is frustrating, it happens at times and “we should all treat it as a national engagement void of politics”.
The CSNL boss also expressed appreciation to the Management of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), headed by Madam Marie Urey-Coleman, for actions taken to restore hope to the petroleum sector. It can be recalled that on Tuesday, February 4, the Management of LPRC and the Minister of Commerce and Industry appeared before the Plenary of the House of Representatives to explain the nature of the gasoline shortage, and Madam Urey-Coleman attributed the problem to the fact that the port was not dredged and that, it was about to be dredged.
As a result, the LPRC Acting Managing Director said large vessels could not dock to unload the huge consignment of gasoline supply for the country.
According to Kiadii, some individuals want to politicize the situation as an easy way of demeaning the image of the Management Team of the LPRC, which he said will be unfair when the problem creating the impediment is visible and far from any political implication.
However, the CSNL Executive Director also urged the LPRC Management Team and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to put into place the necessary mechanisms to prevent the problem from recurring, as it is becoming embarrassing day by day.
“The Civil Society Network of Liberia wants to take this time to also caution both LPRC and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to enhance coordination in all of their doings in order to avoid conflicting information to the Liberian People. On the other hand, we call all the companies that are involved in the business of selling petroleum to live up to the agreement signed between them and LPRC in order to work for the betterment of the Liberian people,” Kiadii added .
It may also be recalled that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry without reference to LPRC assured last week that enough gasoline was in the country and more was arriving during the weekend of February 1, 2020. With that promise, lifting up the expectation of the consumers, Monday night, February 3, saw another formation of long queues of vehicles and motorcycles at a few major fueling stations in Monrovia, with the vast majority of the stations closed because it was run out of gasoline.
Meanwhile, the reported shortage of petroleum products on the Liberian market has caused a serious increase in transportation fares across the country.