‘Bleeding’ Liberians

MONROVIA-The abrupt incensement of gasoline on the Liberian market by the government this week has imposed further hardship on Liberians and have described it as harmful and tantamount to bleeding them.

Early this week, Mr. Steve Flampay, a former government official in the  Ellen Johnson government at the Ministry of Commerce,   told state radio that there was no justification in the incensement of the gasoline.

“This is not good. I am calling on President George M.  Weah to reverse this. This will not help us,” he said.

On Monday, March 7, 2022, the Commerce Ministry set the new retail pump price of gasoline at five USD and sixty-six cents or eight-hundred-seventy-five Liberian Dollars.

According to the circular, the new prices were derived following closed consultations with the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and are based on the international prevailing and exchange rates. This has been debunked by many.

But several Liberians this paper spoke to on Thursday described the action by the government as cruel, harmful and was tantamount to a complete ‘bleeding.’

“I want to say that this is very harmful. The government is killing us slowly. We are already suffering, then they have imposed this on us.  We never elected him to bring hardship on us. We elected him to make sure that things are easy for us,” Joshua Kollie, a gas seller in Red light said.

“What this government is doing is very bad. They increased gasoline; do they expect us the taxi drivers to still charge the same way? No. I just want to say that they should remember 2023 is coming,”   James Fayah , a  Taxi driver told this paper at Parker paint junction, Paynesville.

One local gas seller, Mark O. Harris, said, “I am a strong CDCian, but they are doing things that will make us  not to win next  year. They should reverse this gasoline price. It is very high and is killing us. Many people do not already have food, then you come at this time you increase the gas price?”

 “We supported this government to come to power. But nothing they are doing for us; rather, suffering from one point to another. This gas price will not do us help. President Weah, please listen to your citizens. If you cannot listen to us today, we will not listen to you tomorrow,” Patrick Sackie, another Taxi driver said.

According to statistics on gasoline in some neighboring countries, Liberia has the highest pump price.  While Liberia sells at US$5.66 per gallon, Ghana sells at US$4.50,  Guinea 4.23, Sierra Leone US$4.12, and Ivory Coast US$4.11. This means Sierra Leone has the cheapest pump price.

But inside sources at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company-LPRC told this paper that there is sufficient gasoline in stock and the incensement is intended to get extra cash for some people in government, LPRC, and petroleum importers.

“Do you know that this vessel; MT BW LYNX brought 12,500 mtns of gasoline on the day the Bicentennial program took place at the complex? There was sufficient gasoline here. Not only that big brother, We have a tanker that brought in HFO. It just sailed last week. It is called MT DUKE and it brought only 2,400 metric tons,” the source said.

Please read the circular issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry this week.

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