Liberian petroleum importers have asked Commerce Minister Mawine G. Diggs to consider price increment of petroleum products, saying the government’s approved price is way below their cost.
Through a communication dated 8 June 2022, the Petroleum Importers Association of Liberia (PIAL) also requested Minister Diggs’ prompt and timely intervention.
“In view of the aforementioned, we are appealing to the Government to kindly see the need to consider price increment,” the importers said.
The petroleum importers’ request for price increment comes as Liberians struggle to fuel their vehicles and other machines at excessively high and unregulated petroleum prices.
Filling stations mostly appear unwilling to serve regular customers, but throughout this crisis the black market is not short of petroleum products.
As filling stations remain sealed off for the most part of the day, stranded vehicle operators and other petroleum users pay roughly US$10.00 per gallon of gasoline along the streets.
It is not clear what the government’s approved price is for petroleum products here. However, a gallon of gasoline was being sold for about US$5.50 cents over the past months before what appears to be artificial scarcity erupted here.
Long queues still remain at filling stations, as people hope to be served after waiting for several hours.
In their communication, the petroleum importers argued that the price of petroleum products has increased significantly on the world market along with the 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 cost,” the importers added.
They said they are also available for a meeting to discuss and find a way forward if Minister Diggs so deems necessary.