In The Mist Of COVID -19
The prices of gasoline have gone up again in Nimba County, making transportation fares and prices of commodities turn soar. A gallon of gasoline is now sold for L$850 in most of the known filling stations across Ganta, including God Willing, Ma Queen Filling, SP and other street vendors.
Total is selling a gallon for L$650, while Aminata is selling a gallon for L$690, respectively.
The new escalation in the petroleum product is affecting the movement of goods and services, due to the rise in transportation fares across the county.
The fare from Ganta to Monrovia has gone up to L$1800 from L$1000 and L$1200, few days ago, while Ganta to Zwedru and beyond is above L$12,000.
The reduction of passengers from six to four in order to avoid over-crowdedness is also one factor that led to sharpe increase in fare.
“We are now carrying four persons in a taxi in observance of the Coronavirus outbreak,” said taxi driver William Freeman.
“So we managed to absorbed the balance two passengers’ fares into the fares of the four, so we can get back our expenses,” said one Saah, another driver.
The increase in the prices of Liberia’s staple food, rice, as well as gasoline, prompted the city mayor of Saclapea, Mr. Jeremiah Nyagean, to call mass meeting of all stakeholders, including business owners, to explain the reason for their high prices, in the midst of COVID-19.
Many citizens are blaming the the transport unions operating in the country of not helping to minimize the transport fares.
The transport unions in the country, Federation of Road Transport Union, the Mono River Transport Union and the ECOWAS Transport Union are main dispatchers of commercial vehicles to their various destinations.
And for every dispatch, each taxi driver pas L$250 per trip, while buses pay L$500 and L$1000 for trucks, respectively.
The FRTUL’s Vice President for Operations, Mr. Dioh Ireland, could not explain what the Union is doing to minimize the cost of transportation. Instead he blamed the Ministry of Commerce for regulating the price of petroleum products.
The county supervisor of the ECOWAS Transport Union, Mr. Ernest Guwah, said his organization reduced the dispatching fees to allow the drivers to do the same with their fares.
“We told the drivers to reduce the fare to L$1500, but the sharp increase in the prices of gas brought setback to our request,” he said.
Despite the Commerce Inspector saying that gas prices were under control, at the cost of L$640 for gallon, many of street vendors, as well as registered dealers, are still selling for L$850. When the price of gas fell recently across Nimba, a gallon of gas was sold for LD 640 in all selling places in Ganta.