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Commerce Ministry To Punish Petroleum Dealers Hiking Prices

  23 Janvier      0        Economy (6866),


MONROVIA, Jan. 22 (LINA) – The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has warned petroleum dealers involved in creating artificial shortage of the products to desist, stressing that culprits will be arrested, prosecuted and fined in line with the laws of the country.


« Anybody creating artificial shortage will have serious problem with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, because we will arrest you, prosecute you and fine you. People that are selling gasoline beyond the regulated prices, we will go after them, » Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh noted.


Speaking Wednesday on the state radio, Minister Wilson indicated that there is sufficient inventory of both gasoline and diesel in the country, adding that the product currently in the country is more than what we consume normally.”


According to Minister Wilson, Liberia uses 152,000 gallons of gasoline monthly and as such there is sufficient product in the country to serve the public, noting: « As we speak, TOTAL is pumping up to 8,000 gallons a day, National Petroleum 6,000 gallons and Super Petroleum is also pumping 6,000 gallons which amounts to 20,000 a day. »


Minister Wilson lamented that the issue of the shortage is something created by a bunch of unscrupulous individuals who always have the intension of undermining the economy of the country.


The Commerce Minister assured the public that there is adequate volume of both gasoline and diesel in the country and as such the prices of the products remain the same.


He revealed that the situation was sensed by the Ministry few days ago where it observed filling stations selling petroleum products to a large number of individuals with jerry cans.


Minister Tarpeh stated that the Ministry will take the necessary steps aimed at discouraging petroleum distributors from selling in jerry cans but rather to motorists, noting: « We will take the right steps to beef up the inspection by at the ministry.


Meanwhile, Professor Wilson asserted that the Ministry is taking into consideration imposing ban on the importation of petroleum products temporarily until the situation can be stabilized.


« Whatever it is, we have to preserve the stability of the market. This is something that has happened before, our first priority is the interest of our people here, » the Minister maintained.


Also, Minister Wilson said, mini-petroleum distributors identified in Liberia as “can boys” will be deterred from selling gasoline at street corners for the greater good of the public.


The Liberia News Agency (LINA) recently noticed a major slowdown in the distribution of petroleum products by major distributors which has caused a major hike in the prices of the products.


The recent price of gasoline which stood at L$605.00 was abruptly hiked to L$1000.00 and L$950.00 by some dealers as a result of major gas stations shutting down their fuel distribution facilities with the inscription « no gas ».


The news of gasoline shortage has spread like wildfire across the country, causing mini-petroleum dealers to hike the price of gasoline with an attendant upward impact on transportation fare.

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