Govt Sets New Prices for Petrol after Days of Hoarding by Importers – FrontPageAfrica

MONROVIA – FrontPageAfrica has gathered that the Petroleum Importers Association and the Liberian government have reached an agreement for an increment in the price of petroleum products to be commensurate with the global cost. This agreement comes days after drivers in Monrovia and its environs were left stranded for gasoline while importers deliberately hoarded the products until a breakthrough in negotiations.

On Wednesday evening, the Ministry of Commerce released a circular that indicated that the new pump price for gasoline would be US$5.90 or L$895 per gallon while diesel fuel will now be sold for US$6.90 or L$1,050 per gallon.

“The government wishes to emphasize that it has acted throughout the apparent impasse in the best interest of ordinary people, as it insists on keeping the price affordable. As a result, the government strenuously resisted initial suggestions from some importers for an increment of more than the U.S. $1.00,” the circular stated.

The prices came as a result of an appeal by the importers to the government to take into consideration the prices of petroleum products on the world market and the last prices set by the Ministry of Commerce on June 3, 2022, could not match their expenses.

“We would like to inform you that the price of petroleum products has increased significantly on the world market along with premiums. The recent price circular that was approved and released and became effective as of June 3, 2022, is not reflective of current world market price and is way below our worst,” the importers stated.

The Ministry of Commerce had earlier this week announced that it had no intention of increasing the price of petrol and that there was more than sufficient petrol in the country.

However, the Commerce Ministry could do less about the hoarding of petroleum products by the importers which began to adversely affect transportation and other commercial activities.

A government source familiar with the negotiation informed FrontPageAfrica that the importers were opting for US$6.35 per gallon while the government wanted US$5.30.

According to the source, the government is planning to begin the importation of petroleum products to avoid these kinds of maneuverings by the importers.

Also, an importer who spoke with FPA on the basis of anonymity said, they agreed to the new prices in order to ease the tension the car owners were going through and the risks associated with hoarding the product for a longer period.

Prior to the prices, sidewalk retailers have been selling a gallon of gasoline for L$1,200 (US$8.00) – a situation that led to an astronomical increment in transport fares by commercial drivers and motorcyclists.

“We will continue to increase transportation fares because the government is not ready yet, how will you allow business people to determine prices just to suffer your own people. The petroleum importers now are deciding whom to sell to,” Andrew Williams, a commercial taxi driver vented in frustration.

“The bus parking is really parked today. It’s because of the gas business. Many people do not love to ride the bus, especially on Monday because of the traffic. But taxi drivers are overcharging the passengers and so, they are forced to come ride buses”, Winston, a car loader around the Point Four junction stated.

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