Gas ‘War’ Eminent?
The current wave of gasoline shortage on the Liberian market may gradually turn into ‘war’ if care is not taken, a number of people at various gas stations told this paper Wednesday.
It is almost three weeks since Liberians started forming long line in search of gas.
“This gas situation will lead to war in this country if care is not taken. How do you expect us to move around when there is no gas? This is a serious problem coming and government is playing fun with it,” Richard D. Kollie told this paper at Total filling station.
At some areas, a gallon of gas is sold for US$10.00 . “Your own is better. I bought one gallon for US$15.00. Right now, I can not even see it,” one lady told this reporter at the filling station.
But the minister of Commerce, Mr. Wilson Tarpeh told reporters recently that there was no need to panic as there were sufficient gas on the Liberian market. After the pronouncement, he regretted his statement by saying that he was misled by the technicians at the petroleum company-Liberia Petroleum Refining Company-LPRC.
The official pump price for gallon of gas is about US$3.30 cent.
At almost all petrol stations, several customers slept for days with the expectation of purchasing gas to enable them move.
“We have been here for two two days now. Up to today, they are not telling us anything whether they will serve us or now. We are waiting hopelessly,” Boima Johnson said.
Johnson rides motor bike and he said, it is through that he feeds his family. But with the current situation, he is finding it difficult to make ends meet. That if such continues for sometime, he will resort to something different(which he did not disclose).
To Mount Barclay, a suburb of Monrovia, fleet of cars are seen in long line at various filling stations.
“War is coming oh. I say, war is coming on. This time it will not be for rice, but for gas. No gas, what do they expect us to do? Children need to go to schools, parents need to go to the market and feed the children. Here, nothing has happened. I am calling on this government to do everything possible to bring gas here or else they will regret the day and hour they took power,” Emmanuel T. Konimah.
He said, it was necessary for president Weah to do everything possible to resolve this.
If they do not take time, one day, they will hear or see demonstration calling for government to come down, he added.
At one of the Total stations, it was reported that the Vice president of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor vehicle had gone for gas, but was turned down due to its unavailability.
“The vice president car came here, but we told them that there was no gas. We are expecting gas anytime. We do not know the exact time,” a Total pump attendant said.
But Liberia’s information minster, Lenn Eugene Nagbe told state radio Wednesday that they had put in for emergency gas. gASO
“Government is importing emergency supplies to alleviate what’s happening now. I have come here to apologize to the public for the situation. The public is hurt. It is not their business to ensure that there is product on the market. It is our duty and so we take responsibility. Emergency supplies will start coming from neighboring countries within 24 to 48 hours. We have confirmed that we have some of the solutions insight,” he said.
He added “there was a variation between the actual data and the reported data from the previous information given by the government. For this, we want to apologize as a government and we take responsibility. However, this discrepancy between actual data and reported data is not a new problem. It is something that has been happening over the years. That is why the President has constituted a technical committee that will help find a permanent solution to the situation.”
Besides the emergency gas, he said, a vessel would dock within a week with much larger quantity of gasoline for the market.