Why Is Gasoline Price Still High?

3
70

Despite assurances by LPRC of adequate supply, vendors reveal a different experience

The price of gasoline continues to fluctuate in the commercial city of Ganta, despite the government’s insistence that there is no gas shortage in the country. Meanwhile, petroleum vendors tell the Daily Observer that there is indeed a shortage and the only way to get product supply is through bribes at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).

Nearly all the local filling stations are still selling a gallon of gasoline for L$1,000 in Ganta, while in other cities, including Saclepea, Bahn, Tappita and even Sanniquellie the price is around L$ 1,200 and above.

The price of gasoline took a sudden spike from L$680 on the morning of Monday, January 20, to L$1,000 the following day, resulting in a corresponding increase in cost of transportation fares to various destinations.

Some of the filling stations across Ganta, including “God Willing, Ma Queen and NP have on their price bulletin L$1,000 for a gallon of gas, but the price of diesel has remained stable.

The high price of gas prompted the local office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, headed by Nelson Korquoi to cite the vendors on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 to inquire the reason for the increment, but what came out of the meeting is yet to be known.

Meanwhile price hike persists.

The motorcyclists express frustration over the sharp rise in the price of gasoline, an unexplained problem they now attribute to exploitation by vendors, blaming the government for not taking any action.

“We are not running our bikes to purchase gasoline, we need profit to support our families,” a motorcyclist lamented.

The sharp increase in the price of petroleum products is the first of its kind since 15 years in Ganta.

During the raining season and when the roads are deplorable, gasoline can sometimes be sold L$1,000 in remote areas, far from Ganta, but for the commodity price to be high in Ganta is baffling to many travelers.

When contacted, some of the vendors said they increased their gas price because of the increment in Monrovia.

“We don’t even have much gas so we increased the price of the little we have because of what is happening in Monrovia,” said one of the gas sellers at NP Gas Station.

Another vendor told the Daily Observer via mobile phone from Monrovia that the cost of a gallon at LPRC is about US$2.80, but the process of getting his tanker loaded, after purchasing the gas, is very tedious until one has to pay bribes to the tune of US$500 per tanker to the LPRC Marketing Office before your process can be fast-tracked or expedited.

The bribery allegation could not be independently verified up press time. However, the vendor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, observed that there might be a real shortage of petroleum products in the storage facilities at LPRC, but the government is managing it by serving fewer tankers per day, so as to buy time until the supply vessel can arrive.

The gasoline price increase is has created shocks in the economy, with ripple effects felt in the rising prices of other local commodities, due to the high cost of transportation of those commodities.

“The hard time is speedily engulfing the nation and the government appears to be doing nothing to stop or curtail it,” said an angry mother of four.

“Some of these local government authorities responsible for price control need to be changed, because they are suspected of siding with business people to exploit the citizens,” said Annie O. Flomo.

“Since the CDC led government came to power over two years ago, prices have not yet been regulated, despite it being called a ‘Pro-poor Government’,” an elderly man observed. “Everyday we see Commerce Inspectors on the field pretending to be inspecting or regulating prices,” he added.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is an incredible rousing article.I am essentially satisfied with your great work.You put truly exceptionally accommodating data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing your next post.

  2. There is a shortage of gas in the country. As long as there’s a shortage of gas, the price of gas will go up and up until we’re at equilibrium or until there’s surplus. It makes no sense to see different prices of gas in the same county. If a gallon of gas sells at $4.87 in Ganta, Nimba, the same should apply to all the cities, towns and villages throughout Nimba.

  3. In a macro-economic environment abrupt price spikes especially upward ones do occur from factors that economists called externalities or simply put, outside forces beyond the government’s control that have adverse effects on the economy. During other occasions, price hikes do occur from intentional, price gouging or the creation of artificial shortages by unscrupulous businesses so as to gain price advantages on the market..

    A few examples of externalities are: war, internal uprisings or a force de majeure or an unexpected incident that may occur, and it is beyond the ability of the parties in a contract to deliver on their contractual agreement. None of these catastrophic incidents are occurring. So, what’s the sources of the high costs of goods and services in the country?

    Several factors may be at play. And if may conjecture, as the economy continues to make a nose dive and IMF austerity measures have begun taking its toll on Weah’s “so-called Pro-Poor Agenda” , he and his corrupt officials have to makeup for every lost penny. To achieve this end, some of his officials are conniving with heartless business people, who are engaging in astronomical price swindling, to compensate for their losses and plunder in other ways.

    Also, If the government is minting and dumping more money into the economy without a commensurate job growth or the adding of durable or non-durable goods and services, hyperinflationary pressure is bound to occur.

    I wish our leaders could take a break just a little bit from their avariciousness and begin to examine the deepest crevices of their consciences, then may be they will begin to see why our nation suffers in the manner it usually does.

Leave a Reply