About nine gasoline stations operating in the country are about to face the wrath of the government of Liberia through the Commerce and Industry Ministry for allegedly creating artificial shortage of petroleum products on the Liberian Market.
Speaking to the New Dawn newspaper the Inspector General of the Commerce Ministry Madam Macata Wreh said her office, through the supervision of Commerce and Industry department have conducted a general inspection throughout the petroleum market.
She pointed out that the penalties range from US$100-US$1000, depending on the gravity of the violation. She stressed that the nine institutions are under serious investigation and findings will be submitted to the Deputy Minister for Commerce and Industry for action.
Few days ago petroleum products on the prices of petroleum product on the Liberian market increased rapidly from L$250 to L$380.00 per gallon.
According to her, the nine gas stations that are expected to face legal penalties of government are located in central Monrovia including some little known gas stations along the Roberts International Airport Highway. Madam Wreh said, Stations found guilty in the act of inflating the prices of commodities are to face constitutional mandate of the government.
“During our inspection, over 2,500 gallons of gasoline were discovered in the storage of those violators and we think it is economic sabotage under our law, but the Deputy for Commerce and Industry will decide the penalty for them”, she said.
For his part, Acting Managing Director of LPRC Mr. Aaron Weagar said there are enough petroleum products in the country, adding that he sees no reason why people are increasing the prices of the product.
He said presently, the LPRC has in its storage about 2.7 million gallons of gasoline and 2.5 million gallons of fuel. He also disclosed that there is a ship on the Liberian water with about 8,500 metric tons of products belonging to both the West Oil Investment and TOTAL Liberia.
He noted that another vessel is expected in the country with additional products that can last for the next two months. He, however, blamed some unscrupulous business entity for creating hike in the price of the commodity on the local market.