For the fifth time in Monrovia and its environs, commuters, businesspeople and ordinary Liberians continue to endure hardship under mute attitudes of Ministries of Transport and Commerce & Industry.
Transportation fares for all destinations in Monrovia and its environs remain perpetually unregulated despite announcement by Ministry of Transport that fares were being dropped due to reduction in prices of gasoline and fuel.
The so-called reduction, as far as the prevailing situation is concerned, has not been enforced by the regulatory agencies of the government.
Despite the repeated and persistent outcries of the commuters, businesspeople and ordinary Liberians in the hands of unscrupulous commercial drivers, the Transport, Commerce and Industries Ministries remain resolutely mute over the situation.
Sadly, commercial drivers have for the past six weeks deliberately refused to accept the reduced transport fares for Monrovia and its immediate environs announced by the Transport, Commerce and Industry Ministries.
Reductions in the pump price of petroleum products, however, was effected by the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) owing to sharp declines in the global sale of petroleum products.
Interestingly, repeated and consistent stern warnings from the Ministries of Commerce & Industry and Transport with regards to hikes in transport fares have fallen on deaf ears and commercial drivers continue to exhibit defiance.
In addition, as a result of the defiant attitudes of the commercial drivers and other public service transport providers, commuters, businesspeople and ordinary Liberians are seen stranded at several street corners and other bus stations in desperations and anger.
Despite the massive waves of public outcries, shock, indignation and unwavering sentiments against the acute shortage of public transport for about 12 years now, the government continues to downplay Liberians’ grievances.
“We will continue to defy and ignore all the warnings from the Ministries of Transport, Commerce and Industry, because we were not consulted prior to the transport fare reductions in Monrovia,” Drivers at Bob Taylor’s Junction shouted out loudly.
Many of the disenchanted and defiant commercial drivers in their 30s and 40s called on the government to reconsider some of the penalties associated with the transport fares’ violations in Monrovia and its environs.
In separate interviews with some affected commuters in the three commercially driven communities, they underscored urgent need for swift intervention of the two ministries.
Commuter Harris B. Konuwah, 48, said the ministries concerned should swiftly mustered the courage and fortitude to enforce transport fares’ regulations without fear and favor in Monrovia and its environs.
“I mean, the big men business must be stopped and commercial drivers violating the transport fare regulations should be dealt with harshly without favor,” Mr. Konuwah stressed.
Madam Elizabeth B. Marshall, 45, said she was really disappointed with those two ministries for lack of commitment to enforce transport fare regulations in Monrovia.
“I wish to advise the Ministers of Commerce, Transport and Industry to herewith stop issuing empty regulations that lack the practical instruments to enforce same to all categories of Liberians,” Madam Marshall cautioned.
She stressed the need for the two ministries to graduate from sugar-coated utterances that have no iota and element of practical realities considering the defiant attitudes of the commercial drivers.