By Lewis S. Teh
Montserrado County Electoral district#4 Representative Rustolyn S. Dennis says the CDC-led government of President Weah is the most reckless, and careless government since the formation of Liberia.
“The CDC led-government needs to stop acting in such a way to the people of Liberia; trust me, I’ve never seen a government that is going to an election, that is cruel, heartless, careless and reckless to its citizens as compared to this government”, Representative Dennis notes.
She made the characterization on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in an interview with reporters at the Capitol on the prevailing petroleum crisis in Liberia.
According to the female lawmaker, no government that is seeking re-election would be so blunt and reckless to its people. Why would you want to do this? If this situation was a regional shortage, I would be a fool, and stupid to do what I’m doing.”
She explains that neighboring Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, among other countries don’t manufacture petroleum products similarly as Liberia, but it is disappointing for petroleum to be on sale from $7.50 cents going to $8.00.
She says in as much that Liberia doesn’t manufacture the commodity like her counterparts, there’s no need to increase the price of petroleum products on the Liberian market.
Rep. Dennis reveals that from survey and research conducted on the sale of petroleum products in the region, she realizes that the price of petroleum products is 5.00 in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, far lower than in Liberia, but wonders why the prices are high in the country.
“I’m being paid by the Liberian people who elected me for what I’m doing; part of my work is to do check and balance”, she adds.
Rep. Dennis: “I’m sure somebody somewhere is using this situation to be a millionaire overnight or this might be a scam by this government or scam by individuals that the Head of State is not aware of.”
She notes that these are some of the ways people get rich, saying this situation has caused many children not to go to school, people have parked their cars and riding motorcycles which she said was troubling.
She continues that petroleum importers would never take a unilateral decision to increase price from US$5.00 to US$7.00 and yet the government hasn’t spoken a word about the situation.
According to her, the government might have connived with importers, or importers themselves could be under certain situations that they can’t handle, which she observes is strange.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism has issued a press statement under the signature of Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie, announcing that it has reached an agreement with petroleum importers and distributors in the country on a new price structure for gasoline and diesel fuel on the Liberian market.
According to the release, this follows official requests by importers to the government for an increase in the price of the commodities in order to offset costs they endure on the international market due to the Russian-Ukraine crisis.
The MICAT release continues that following long hours of negotiations, it has been agreed that additional U.S. $0.80 cents will be added to the current retail price of gasoline, thus increasing the cost from U.S.$5.10 to U.S.$5.90. Diesel fuel will now be sold at the pump price of U.S.$6.90 from its previous price.
Importers and distributors have agreed to immediately begin lifting their products from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company’s storage facility to filling stations as of June 8, 2022.
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 prices affordable. As a result, the government strenuously resisted initial suggestions from some importers for an increment of more than U.S. $1.00.
The release notes that the new deal should help alleviate the difficulty many Liberians have had to go through in the last few days, while the product is made affordable and available. Editing by Jonathan Browne