Liberia’s Minister of Commerce, Professor Wilson Tarpeh has announced the current supply of gasoline on the Liberian market is at an all-time low-and is expected to run out within the coming weeks.
Addressing the Plenary of the House of Representatives, Prof. Tarpeh blamed the situation on the inability of major importers to finance the importation of gasoline owing to the problem of reconciliation and dredging at the Freeport of Monrovia.
He, however, assured the House Plenary that the situation is expected to be addressed within a month following the arrival of 19,000 metric tons, about 6,650,000 gallons of gasoline within four weeks.
“In the current situation, the level of petroleum product in the market is very low, precariously low and there are two primary reasons for this: the inability of importers to finance import as the result of the situation that we have with the reconciliation and the dredging of the port,” Prof. Tarpeh reportedly said, in his testimony before the House of Representatives.
“As we speak, our current level can go within seven to nine days, and the order that we are expected to receive has been put up for another ten days. But we are confident that the importers said we expecting 19,000 metric tons which is 6,650,000 gallons of gasoline within the next four weeks.”
The Commerce Minister’s revelation comes in the wake of recent acute gasoline shortage that led to the sacking of the Deputy Managing Director for Operations of the Liberia Petroleum Corporation (LPRC), Bobby Garseyu Brown, and the suspension of all petroleum importers’ licenses by President George Manneh Oppong Weah.
The President’s action was based on the findings of the Special Task Force commissioned to identify the cause of the recent petroleum shortage in Liberia as well as variances between importers stocks balances and the acute stock balances of the LPRC.
“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 the license 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,” a statement from the Executive Mansion said in the wake of the President’s action.
However, in less than a month, the situation is about to resurface, and it is happening at the time the Government is focusing on combating the deadly coronavirus virus that is raging across the world and disrupting international trade.