Gov’t Announces Arrival of Additional Gasoline

3
1534
(L-R) Minister Tarpeh along with Deputy Minister Wisner at yesterday's press conference.

Commerce and Industry Minister (MOCI) Wilson K. Tarpeh over the weeked disclosed that additional petroleum product arrived in the country, and it is expected to last up to February 19.

Making the disclosure on Friday, January 31, Minister Tarpeh called on Liberians to remain patient as efforts are being initiated to address the gasoline saga across the country. He indicated that additional gasoline will be arriving in mid February.

Over the last two weeks gasoline shortage has impeded businesses and movements across the country with vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles lined up at a few supplying stations to purchase a few gallons.  Although the price was normal or in some instances reduced to L$605 per gallon, street vendors (otherwise known as Can Boys) who sell along roadsides inflated the price to L$1,200.

In response, commercial drivers and motorcyclists increased their fares based on the price offered by Can-boys and their own experiences with petrol stations where they spent hours or sometimes the entire night, in queues, waiting to be served just a few gallons of gasoline.  “We ourselves too can sleep at the station just to get gas, and so we have to charge in the way that what we lost yesterday will be regained today,” said a taxi driver while driving to town.

In reference to Liberia’s consumption rate of gasoline, Minister Tarpeh reiterated that Liberia consumes an average of 4.5 million gallons of gasoline monthly, thereby forming part of the essential basket of commodities for the ministry. Mr. Tarpeh said the ministry will continue to go after people who are involved in artificially inflating the price of gasoline.

“We confiscated 1,500 gallons and the owners of those stations are now undergoing investigation and a subsequent administrative hearing. The due process is established by the Ministry of Commerce. Again, the support of the public has been very helpful,” Minister Tarpeh said.

Minister Tarpeh said five gas stations that were involved in artificially inflating the price of the petroleum product will be banned, but the ministry intends to give them due process, which is an administrative hearing, before any action is taken.

“We have received 1.2 million of of the three million gallons of gasoline announced to you earlier, and due to Liberia’s shipping schedule, it has been put to the weekend to arrive,” Minister Tarpeh said, referring to the weekend of February 1, 2020.

According to him, an additional 6,000 gallons of gasoline will be coming February 3 and will help greatly to improve the ongoing supply issue.  He said his ministry will communicate with the transport ministry to address the increment in transport fares.

Mr. Tarpeh said MOCI, Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), National Port Authority (NPA) and all of the importers continue to work together as a team to address the shortage of gasoline on the Liberian market. According to him, all is being done to end the reoccurrence of the shortage of petroleum products, something he said remains a serious concern of the administration of President George M. Weah.

In regard to this concern, Minister Tarpeh on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, stated that three million gallons of gasoline would be available for distribution beginning Thursday, January 30, 2020.  Since that promised Thursday, the long queues for gasoline have gradually reduced, though the price remains high in the rural areas, many of which rely on ‘Can-boys’ to get the product.

Mr. Tarpeh said the ministry has made significant progress in addressing the long queues at various filling stations across the country and will continue until lines or queues at filling stations are a thing of the past.

“The government is committed to providing services to the people of Liberia through the business sector by creating the environment for the private sector. We remain grateful to the importers, particularly Total and Petro Trade, for their cooperation,” Minister Tarpeh said.

According to him, additional consignments of petroleum product are due to arrive in Liberia in a couple of days, making it a total of six thousand metric tons, which is approximately 2.1 million gallons.

As a way of mitigating the intensity of the supply shortage, Minister Tarpeh said “We announced and directed keh-keh riders and motorcyclists to particular stations, and it is helping to address the long queues experienced in the last few days.”

“We still have enough of our essential commodities that include rice, salt, sugar, flour, water, kerosene, drugs, and onion among others,” Minister Tarpeh said.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Did I head Mr. Tarpeh labelling onions as part of Liberia essential commodities that is being imported? Why are we importing onions and peppers that we can grow ourselves in Liberia? Mama Liberia is so blessed and rich in everything from Mother Nature but the people of Liberia has just become lazy and the government encourages their act of being lazy. Practically, anything can grow in Liberia considering our fertile soil and rain forest but all we have to do is perform our part.

  2. The Daily Observer reported a few days ago that the gasoline shortage is a problem, which this administration inherited from the Ellen’s administration. Amongst other things, it reported that the ships were not berthing at the port on time because money was allocated during the past administration to dredge the port, but the task was not accomplished and neither was the amount accounted for.

    What is baffling about this report is how the reporter ignores the fact the present administration has been in power now for over two years. Was that not enough time for government to detect the problems and conduct a project scope in order to correct them?

    What is even more baffling is when all of a sudden the same Daily Observer reports again more gasoline is to come in sooner to curtail the shortages. What a contradiction? If the shortages on the market are deriving from the incapacity of the port to host large vessels, why would the same vessels bring in gasoline anyway? How did the Ellen administration manage similar challenges without a mention of shortages?

    In climaxing the story, the Daily Observer made a Shakespearean analogy which says, “Something is rotten in Denmark…” to cast more light on shadiness of the episode. But if I may add my own rendition to that quotation without damaging it, I would say bluntly, something is rotten to the core in the Weah’s administration, and his government will not succeed if it keeps blundering and failing to take blame for its shortcomings.

  3. Tarpeh is an old crook who has got a corruption history from UL. What do you expect? Weah needs to fire him. But the truth is the taboo of this regime is to resign. Once you do not resign, you’ll not be fired.

    After petroleum, what’s next? Pure drama.

Leave a Reply