Despite the sharp decrease in the pump price of petroleum products in the country, commercial drivers and some business entities continue to remain defiant on price reductions.
Many commercial drivers and businesspeople have rejected the new transport fares and price reductions on critically needed food commodities in several parts of Monrovia and its environs.
Correspondingly, many of Monrovia’s affected residents have sounded urgent calls on the Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry for their swift interventions in order to remedy the grave situation.
Ironically, instead of commercial drivers accepting the newly approved transport fares of LD$75.00 from the Red-light Market in Paynesville to the Broad Street in Central Monrovia; they are charging commuters LD$80-90-00 per trip.
Commercial drivers mainly found in such unwholesome acts are those driving cars that are carrying private and business license plates in several parts of Monrovia and its environs.
As a result of these unacceptable acts on the part of the commercial drivers, reports continue to surface in several parts of Monrovia of bitter confrontation amongst commuters and commercial drivers.
Regrettably, a 25-kilogram bag of rice has sharply increased to LD$1,650.00 instead of the approved Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s price of LD$1,500.00.
Several wholesale stores and shops toured at the Red-light and Waterside Markets on Monday and Tuesday were observed to have placed some increases in the price of the nation’s staple food, rice.
There are also sharp increases in the prices of locally grown and produced commodities, such as bitter ball, greens, pepper, cassava, oranges, corn, okra, peanuts, tomatoes and red oil.
As a result of the sharp increases in these commodities in most Monrovia markets, low income earners are becoming very grim and difficult.
Typically at the Red-light Market, several house wives and other buyers stood in complete astonishment due to the sharp increases in locally grown and produced commodities.
“We have gone to several parts of this Red-light Market and finding things very difficult, owing to the sharp increases in locally grown and produced commodities from rural Liberia,” the house wives lamented.
One house wife, Davidetta Morris Kesselly, 42, told the Daily Observer Tuesday that if the price situation of these commodities remains unchecked, more hardships will continue to affect Liberians and other residents in Monrovia.
Mrs. Kesselly explained that two weeks ago, she was given LD$400.00 to buy their daily food; but at the moment she is now spending LD$550.00 to buy a day’s food at the Red-light Market in Paynesville.
Another house wife, Mrs. Esther Sumo Beyan, 55, said, “The sharp and unchecked increases in the prices of locally grown commodities are bringing hard on the people, and the urgent intervention of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is needed,” Mrs. Beyan asserted.
When contacted, businesswomen bringing locally grown and produced commodities to some of Monrovia’s market told the Daily Observer Tuesday that the cost of transportation had generated the sharp increases.
A businesswoman from Todee District, Madam Mary Kollie, told the Daily Observer Tuesday that transporting the harvested greens from various parts of Montserrado County has been challenging over the past two weeks.
For their part, some commercial drivers involved in the business of transporting locally grown and produced commodities indicated that roads leading to those areas are in deplorable conditions.
They added that road conditions in various parts of the country have also contributed to the sharp increase in transport fares.