‘Prosecute, Penalize Importers Responsible for Gas Shortage’

6
1932
Flashback: Long queues at on of SP gas station in Montserrado County during the previous gas shortages.

Petro Trade CCO Recommends 

Amidst reports that the Special Presidential Task Force set up by President George Weah to probe the recent shortage of petroleum product has submitted its report to the President, Abraham Kaydea, Chief Coordinating Officer of Petro Trade Group, has recommended drastic action against those who have abused the much-talk-about provisional lifting method and a total review of the exercise itself.

Provisional lifting is a practice under which the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) would allow one petroleum importer to take the product of another importer with the understanding that the borrower will replace the product in time enough upon the arrival of his own product, a strategy which was designed with good intent to keep the market open and running but backfired due to either the inability or callous refusal of some seemingly reckless companies to replace petroleum products they took and sold under the provisional lifting program.

Petro Trade is one of the leading importers of the Petroleum products in Liberia.

According Mr. Kaydea, amidst all of the reasons, excuses and/or justifications being given for the acute shortage of gasoline, the major cause of the problem is the gross abuse of the provisional lifting exercise.

Mr. Kaydea maintained that dredging of the Freeport and few other technicalities account for only a small portion of the shortage but the abuse of the provisional lifting by these delinquent companies or individuals who have failed or refused to pay back product given to them is the major cause of the problem.

Kaydea is, therefore, calling for the suspension and revocation of licenses as well as the prosecution of those whose’ willful actions or inactions led to the gasoline shortage which seriously affected the business of others and pushed the nation to the brink of economic collapse and chaos.

Abraham Kaydea, Chief Coordinating Officer of Petro Trade Group.

The Petro Trade boss called on President Weah to attach seriousness to the matter and personally ensure that the LPRC and other relevant state authorities review and/or cancel the provisional lifting exercise, and that those who have deliberately defaulted be prosecuted for causing huge financial losses to other importers and the government and putting the country on the edge of economic instability.

He disclosed that his (Petro Trade) filling stations were selling 3,000 to 5,000 gallons a day but the shortage caused them to sell 1,000 to 1,500 gallons a day.

The tactical reduction in the daily sale, he said, was a strategy to remain on the market and serve the public while efforts were being exerted to remedy the situation.

“We did that to manage the product and keep serving our people amidst the crisis caused by the shortage”.

Mr. Kaydea further revealed that the abuse of the provisional lifting framework did not start with the current administration (Weah-Government), but began in the previous regime up to about 68%, and continues in the current regime.

The Petro Trade chief has, however, advised the government against the idea of instituting a petroleum product reserve, saying, “the idea is not necessary for now.”

He gave no details about his advice to the government but promised to do so appropriately through the relevant government entities and functionaries.

Petroleum shortage has been a serious hazard in Liberia’s economic system for the past few weeks.  Vehicles and businesspeople have been finding it difficult to get gasoline, and the causes have been traced to different factors opinionated by individuals.  For instance, the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, Marie Coleman-Urey, attributed the shortage to APM Terminal alleged failure to dredge the Freeport; statement that the APM Terminal denied and described it as lies and unfounded.

In another instance, Liberian businessman Musa Bility who did not name any individuals or groups, recently stated that “two petroleum importers” were responsible for the shortage of gasoline on the market.

“I am here because I thought that it has become necessary for me to make some clarifications surrounding the gas shortage in the country. APM Terminals is right about their position in which they said that no vessel was rescheduled to berth as claimed by the government through the National Port Authority (NPA). Two importers, who were responsible to import petroleum products in December, are responsible for this crisis,” Bility said.

He added, “The two importers expected to have supplied the country, failed to do so. And the reason why only two importers are allowed to bring in petroleum products in a month is because there is not enough space at the LPRC to store the products.”

In pursuit of seeking the causes of this situation, the House of Representatives’ specialized committee set to investigate the matter has been given the mandate through majority votes to investigate and come out with names of those who are indebted to other petroleum importers in the amount between US$9 million to US$12 million.

If named, it is expected that the government of Liberia will take some stringent actions against the “Wrongdoers” for their actions that have caused hardship for people in the country over the past few weeks.

6 COMMENTS

  1. NO WAY, DO WE REMEMBER IN OUR LIFE TIME HOW MANY COUNTLESS ECONOMIC CRIMES AND OTHER CORRUPTION CASES WE TALKED ABOUT PROSECUTING THOSE WHO COMMITTED SUCH CRIMES IN LIBERIA? ONLY CONSISTENT FOOLS WILL THINK CORRUPTION IS A CRIME IN LIBERIA. CORRUPTION IS IN OUR DNA. IN FACT, OUR CULTURE IN LIBERIA IS TO HONOR, RESPECT, ADMIRE AND LOOK UP TO THE MOST WELL SEASONED CORRUPT OFFICIALS FOR MAKING DECISIONS AS TO HOW THE COUNTRY SHOULD BE RUN. WHAT AN IRONY. ABSOLUTELY NOT IN THE WESTERN WORLD. NO WONDER WHY WE ARE SO BACKWARD IN EVERYTHING MY PEOPLE. A COUNTRY WITH SO MANY MANY FOOLS LIVING IN PARADISE ON THE DAILY BASIS MY PEOPLE, BESIDES, THOSE SAME WELL SEASONED CORRUPT OFFICIALS SEE THEMSELVES AS BEING VERY VIABLE IN THE LIBERIAN SOCIETY, HAHAHAHA, REALLY? THAT IS THE COUNTRY WE HAVE, SWEET LIBERIA. (WATCH)

    • Mr. james kpadeh you are the only real person on liberianobserver but nobody is listening to your cries. why why why i am dying here wondering why

  2. Dear God,
    What has Liberia done so much that we will continue to undergo such disgraceful era in our lives?

    “Provisional Lifting Exercise”, as the name clearly indicates, was something temporary or something “for the time being” presumably owing to the broken system due to the war. After more than 17 years, we are still using the same old system. These people who claimed and claiming to rule us, what are they really doing my people?
    An entire nation energy sector in the hands of a handful of businessmen whose sole aim is the pursuit of profit?

    Your Excellency Bad-Management-Medicine-Man Weah, fix this one. It is not normal also for a country to not have energy reserve. Did you hear Mr. Kaydea say he doesn’t want the government to think about having reserve? They want to keep using us like tools, profiteering to the detriment of the Liberian economy and repatriating huge sums to their respective countries with frontal impunity.
    Did I really read and understand this sentence well?
    The Petro Trade chief has, however, advised the government against the idea of instituting a petroleum product reserve, saying, “the idea is not necessary for now.”
    If I were the president of the Republic of Liberia, this Petro Trade chief would be summoned and investigated for economic sabotage.
    Oh, so you guys want us to remain stupid all the time to exploit our nation? Come 2023, this nonsense will come to an end.

    It is high time the GOL constituted a reserve of at least 3 months, preferably 6 months, to control price and stabilize supply on the market to curtail or eradicate the economic criminal activities of dodgy economic operators.
    Stop wasting precious time and resources on any other procedures. Embark on the construction of storage facilities in Monrovia and inland to stabilize the supply of petroleum products in the country.

    If the job is tedious for you CDC, Cummings and ‘apologists’ are eagerly waiting to serve the Liberia people patriotically.

    No more war!

  3. A recommendation to prosecute the provisional lifters (as I think they should be called) is the right thing to do. But, on the other hand, prosecuting those very people who almost crippled the Liberian economy will be a waste of time. I am not suggesting that the provisional lifters should get off the hook without being punished. There should be a price to pay! But when I go back in time and weigh the circumstances, I am reminded that no one gets punished for wrongdoing in the motherland. I can point out a slew of instances where theft was committed by the wheelers and dealers, but that will be of no consequence. The criminal justice system is not working right. I am sorry to say that, but it’s the truth.

    Question: What should be done by the government of George Weah?

    Answers……
    1. Replace the provisional lifters immediately. No one is interested in hearing why they failed to do their job professionally! If they are allowed to talk, they will spew crap!

    2. Hire a new breed of competent Liberians who will serve the interest not of themselves, but of the nation. Get help from the US. Don’t be proud, but rather submissive. Say to the US, “my men and women need to be properly trained in this area, in that area of life. Can I get some professional trainers”? Don’t go to Ghana or Nigeria in order to get trainers. It’s embarrassing to ask a developing country to train the Liberian people.

    3. Don’t hire anyone from the CPP or the CoP (or whatever they prefer to be called). That’s because they are political junkies or rookies. If any of them is considered for a provisional lifter position, a wrecking ball will be used to demolish the Finance Ministry overnight. Some of them are waiting in the wings! Before 2023 arrives, “some” of them will jump in the streets with chants of “elect me”, I will create 10,000 jobs in each county, I will build cars in each county, I will fly people to the moon, I will give two bags of rice to every Liberian on a monthly basis…….oh y’all vote for me”
    Their chants don’t cease. Take a listen.

    CPP….. Please vote for us ye people of Liberia.

    The People: … Shut your mouths. What the hell do you mean by “ye people”? Don’t talk to us like that. We are not stupid.

    CPP….. But we need your vote. Could you please vote for the CPP?

    The People…. No. Get away from here you funny people. We will deny you the presidency. You’re rookies. We don’t need political rookies. By the way, where is your front man Costa?

    CPP….. We don’t want Costa. We don’t want Boakai. We don’t want Urey? We don’t want Dillon.

    The People….. Where is Cummings? Do you all want Cummings?

    CPP….. It’s in the air. Some people want Cummings and others want Urey and Boakai.

    The People…. Stop. Go back to where you people came from. You don’t know what you want. Go away!

    Peace

  4. The headlines, “Prosecute, penalize importers for gas shortage” are just another case of the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals syndrome since nothing will come out of it.

    Weah punctuated his ascendancy to power with the ushering in of massive corruption, and so he set the pace for the endemic corruption that has paralyzed the country. Pray tell me, can anyone in his or her right mind say that occurrences like these would have continued if Weah was intellectually pure, opened to correction, improvement, or reform?

    Now, I am not implying that corruption cannot happen under the leadership of an upright president because some improprieties do surely occur even under the brightest or honest of any president. However, if the president is serious about mitigating corruption and creating the right environment for nation-building, he can do so if he chooses to use his political will in the right direction.

    But under these circumstances, corruption will continue as the president himself is the catalyst and there is no sign of a turning back from such a deadly practice.

  5. Rushing to judgment so soon ? Ok , punish prosecute, penalize , whatever it is, but the article seems to be suggesting that those who have the authority to police gasoline and its stability as it is a national security issue, no mention about what should happen to them for their failure to adequately perform their duties. And so it is the big people thing , and they are considered the untouchables . The article is very wrong to support one side against another.

Leave a Reply