-On “Special Presidential Petroleum Task Force” Report
After a careful assessment of the findings and recommendations of the Report submitted by the Special Presidential Task appointed by President George Manneh Weah, and discussions and consultations with other relevant officials and advisors, the President of the Republic President, George Manneh Weah has taken several actions to avoid a recurrence of petroleum shortage on the Market.
The Special Task Force was mandated to identify the cause of the recent petroleum shortage in Liberia; as well as the variances between importers stocks balances and the actual stock balances of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), presented its Report to the President on February 21, 2020.
The Liberia Chief Executive has taken the several actions, with immediate effect:Mr. Bobby Brown, Deputy Managing Director for Operations of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, is hereby dismissed for gross negligence and fraudulent activities. He will be investigated by the appropriate authorities and, if found guilty, will be prosecuted under the full weight of the law. During this process, any other personnel found to be directly linked to illegality with regards to petroleum movements will face prompt administrative actions, and will also face prosecution under the law.
All petroleum importers who currently have payments for provisional lifting products still outstanding are hereby given 90 days to restitute the products, either in cash or in kind; and petroleum importers that willfully transferred products stored at their facilities are also given 90 days to restitute the products, either in cash or in kind. The Ministry of Justice is hereby ordered to place such importers in receivership until the products are recovered. Failure to replenish the products within the specified time will result in revocation of importers license and forfeiture of allocated storage facilities.
All petroleum importers licenses are hereby suspended, and are to be individually subjected to a performance-based review covering the period January 2017 to January 2020. Re-activation of licenses will be done on a case-by-case basis, and those that do not meet performance and capacity requirements satisfactory to the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be subject to revocation.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia wishes to assure petroleum importers that all products accepted into the storage facilities of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be protected from fraudulent and illegal manipulation, going forward.