Government Sets New Price for Petrol Amid Massive Hoarding and Hike In Transportation
Monrovia – The Government of Liberia hasmannounced an adjustment in petroleum prices in the midst of massive hoarding and increased transportation fare across Monrovia.
A circular under the signature of Commerce Minister Mawine Diggs and the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Company (LPRC), Marie Urey Coleman, stated that the price for a gallon of gasoline has been adjusted by US$0.80 cent while fuel oil is US$0.90.
According to a circular, the new wholesale selling price for a gallon of gas is US$5.72 and fuel is US$6.72. The pump/retail price for a gallon of gas is now US$5.90 (L$885) and fuel is US$6.90 (L$1,050).
The Ministry of Commerce said the changes are based on the international prevailing market rate and the exchange rate, which fall in line with government’s commitment to making products available at all times.
“The Ministry of Commerce Inspectorate Team will be closely monitoring the approved ceiling prices to avoid arbitrary hike in the pump prices of gasoline and fuel oil on the local market,” the Ministry said in the statement.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Industry will also closely monitor the effectiveness of the price circular to ensure that importers do not undercut fellow competitors on the market,” it added.
The Ministry also noted that the previous circular released on June 2, 2022 is hereby nullified.
It is unclear whether the new circular dated on June 8, 2022 is in agreement with the petroleum importers, as the importers begged for increment in a letter to Commerce Minister Diggs also dated on the same date.
In the letter which copy is in possession of Knewsonline, the Petroleum Importers Association of Liberia complained that the price of petroleum products has increased significantly on the world market along with the premiums.
It is yet to be seen if they will agree with the adjustment as they stated that the previous price set was not reflective of current world market price as it was way below their cost.
Meanwhile, there have been huge indignation from the public over the astronomical rise of pump price by street sellers called ‘can boys’ leading to hike in transportation fares across the country and leaving several commuters stranded.
It is yet to be seen whether the Ministry of Commerce will live by its pledge of a robust monitoring to ensure the newly adjusted prices are observed.
The Ministry continues to come under damning criticisms for being so weak and unable to ensure its circulars and regulations are fully respected by importers and retailers.
The Liberian Government, on the overall, has been heavily blamed for the hullabaloos in the sector over its inability to restore the LPRC to its pre-war status of living up to the true meaning of its name by importing crude oil and refining them again.