‘Petroleum Crisis Exacerbated by Lack of Information’

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All day, all night tarry at the gas pump at Total service station, SKD Boulevard junction.

— MICAT boss says, as LPRC boss says crisis may continue thru Feb. 24 

Joaquin M. Sendolo and Alvin Worzi

As the petroleum crisis enters the third week and reaches the point where vehicles and humans are waiting in days-long queues to receive just a few gallons of gasoline at only a select few service stations, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has said that the problem is exacerbated by lack of adequate and truthful information about the crisis.

In a statement during the dedication of the new production studio at the headquarters of the Liberia Revenue Authority on February 10, 2020, Minister Nagbe, said:  “Communication is very, very important.  Today we have a crisis; crisis about the shortage of petroleum products.  It’s a crisis, it’s a problem, but this problem is exacerbated by the lack of adequate and factual information about the crisis in the country.”

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company are two institutions of government that are responsible to provide regulatory and policy information about petroleum supply in the country.

During the first week of the gasoline shortage, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Wilson Tarpeh had, held a press conference in Monrovia, assuring that more gasoline consignment was en route to Liberia, which would alleviate the problem.  Minister Tarpeh also said, besides the consignment of petroleum product that was expected at the end of the second week of the crisis, the month of February has its own quantity to arrive.

With that statement, the end of that week saw the elimination of long queues at petroleum stations and middlemen who sell gasoline in the streets were seen selling, but in the following week on Monday, the same problem ensued and commercial drivers slept in their queues for gasoline.

At the time, LPRC Managing Director, Marie Urey Coleman, blamed the shortage of gasoline on the fact that the Free Port of Monrovia was overdue for dredging, a problem which, she said, was hindering large vessels from docking at the port to deliver the product. According to her, the only other way around the dredging problem in the short-term would be for smaller vessels to go on high seas to collect the product from larger ships and to bring to the port; thereby causing the product not to be enough on the market.

“Do we have gasoline in the country for one month, do we have gas for two weeks or do we have gas for one day?” Minister Nagbe wondered.

He said the lack of truthful information to the public was worsening the crisis because people are not getting the true sense of information about having surplus gasoline in contrast with the reality on the ground.

Min. Nagbe: The ‘crisis is exacerbated by the lack of factual information’

According to the Minister, communication is an ‘indispensable’ tool to the government because the public needs to know what the government does and what is affecting its operation, as it is with the gasoline crisis.

Therefore, he said, without factual and adequate information on a crisis like what is unfolding concerning the petroleum supply, citizens will panic and develop mistrust in their government.

Relating the issue to the LRA, Minister Nagbe said not everyone in Liberia knows their obligations when it comes to taxes and, as such, it is good that the LRA is working to communicate effectively to the public to inform them of their obligations and benefits of paying taxes.

Another 14 days

Meanwhile, The Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), Mrs. Marie Urey Coleman said the management anticipates to resolve the shortage of gasoline within 10 to 14 days.

Mrs. Coleman made the disclosure on Monday, February 10, 2020, at a news conference, while indicating that during this period, the country will experience a continual shortage of gasoline on the Liberian market.

“The management of the LPRC wishes to inform the Liberian people and the general public that the APM Terminals’ rescheduling of vessels at the National Port Authority (NPA) has caused extreme delay and inconvenience in getting petroleum products mainly gasoline on the Liberian market,” Mrs. Coleman said.

These private and commercial vehicles spent their entire Armed Forces Day (public holiday) in the queue at a local service station, waiting to buy a few gallons of gasoline.

Mrs. Coleman indicated that the LPRC management wishes to express regret over the current scramble for petroleum products, amid these long queues at various filling stations and widespread shortages prompted by the rescheduling of vessels at the NPA.

“The Liberian Government through the LPRC is informing the Liberian people, our valued customers and the general public, that we are doing everything possible to resolve this unfortunate crisis that our beloved country and people are currently experiencing,” Mrs. Coleman said.

She emphasized that the supply of petroleum products, mainly gasoline, will be stabilized shortly. She also extended an apology to the citizens, customers, and the public to continue to exercise the patience they have exhibited during these challenging times.

Mrs. Coleman said while they are confident that these serious efforts will materialize soon, the current inventory of gasoline suggests that these challenges may continue through February 24, 2020.

“Our customers can be assured that we are doing everything possible to have sufficient gasoline on the Liberian market to effectively meet our domestic needs,” she maintained.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Well, it is an endless line of lies. Mr. Tarpeh is corrupt. Madam Coleman is just in the middle because she is being used without knowing. Nagbe is another corrupt recycled government bone that should not be near any government property.

    Feel for the ordinary Liberians but again, we are all in the suffering everyday.

  2. What your say his name is ? Professor Wilson Tarpeh ? From classroom professior to dumb field professor. Then again , it is a Kru thing backed by lots of big mouth to pretend that they know , when they actually do not know . Three years on the job , and still has no knowledge about what is actually supposed to be done ? Three years. Wow !

    • James Davis with this hateful prejudice in your DNA towards this immaculate and positive history making Tribe in Liberia.. there’s an urgent need to put you on a medicinal therapy. Just so you know!

      • It’s about accountability and the governmental structure that is in the driver’s seat says it all. So why eat crab with shame , Mr. Swen ? You yourself called it for what it is as history making Tribe. So which one of us needs med ? Don’t eat crab with shame, you are who you are. Has the Kru nation developed any where ? Since the 1930s , New Kru Town with a Kru Governor right in the heart of Monrovia, still looks like Grand Cess and Sinoe County beyond development. The post is about accountability, so your do the right thing. Its been three years and going to four years. No more learning on the job. The Kru nation has a lot of experience working in association with the settlers, better schooled than the people of Lofa, or Grand Cape Mount County, or Nimba County, so what’s the problem? Selfishness can never build a nation. If that’s the problem. Your do the right thing.

  3. This is not about tribe nor position. I am also a key n has never n will never support any one to treat others like this in the name of power or position. We are all Liberians, weah is not fit to be president that’s the fact. Its not about him been kru. Its about stop misusing the people money on roads for getting about water, light food, feel love for your people and do the right thing to help them. One-day Liberia truth leaders with come to power to help better the lives of Liberians. With this CDC and many Liberians will stay support the same people to stay in power this year and the next presidential election.
    So lets just pray for God to give Liberia the right leaders or president.
    No more u kill my ma or pa I will vote for u – Taylor
    No more you know book u na know book I will vote for u – weak
    We all need to pray now also cuz the country is not too far from doom. Where there is not light, is darkness, no life, sickness comes in. I know they are praying for something like Ebola to show up or canovirus sickness so others can support the govt without thinking cuz they have fail badly. But God will not bring any natural disasters to Liberia.
    This artificial problem will show weah and his men weakness in governing Liberia.
    I pray God help them to find a solution before its too.

    These are things when u say govt is doing, they try to kill u secretly. People don’t help u tell govt to stop stealing. And they say you want to bring war.
    Only God can speak now or bring the change Liberia need.

    • I mean I am also a kru man n has never n will never support any one to treat others like this. I never supported weah been Senator 2014 nor LFA President Taylor time and will never encouraged people to vote him as president 2017. But everyone has their choice. People vote for who they want, so they can get what they want. Now they are getting it.
      So please its hurts to say its Kru people, even if weak was doing well, I will stay tell him thank u but I never wanted people to vote for him yet they did.
      Our Liberian girls will suffer more now. Men will now take advantage of them cuz they will not be able to support themselves or get support from their family.

  4. Lack of cash at the banks, now gasoline shortage! What’s next? Hope not rice!!!!!
    “Gad damn eh”, don’t try that one or else you will read your history book again ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!.

    Never mind my innocent people who did not vote for this government.

    “When people in a democracy are not educated in the art of living – to strengthen their conscience, compassion, and ability to question and think critically – they can be easily manipulated by fear and propaganda. A democracy is only as wise as its citizens, and a democracy of ignorant citizens can be as dangerous as a dictatorship.” Paul K. Chappel.

  5. Let us be careful because after this
    one, I know another one will come out again, maybe if w are not careful a might be Rice shortage on market. Liberian where are we heading to?

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