Team Gongloe: Petroleum price increase unjustified
Team Gongloe, the political group leading the call to make human rights lawyer and advocate Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe the President of Liberia has asked the Government here to remove unconditionally, the sharp increases in the prices of petroleum products because they are “unjustified.”
“On Monday, March 7, 2022, the Government of Liberia announced sharp increases in the prices of petroleum product putting a gallon of gasoline from US$4.00 to US$5.66 while diesel fuel, US$4.40 to US$6.00. The increases are unjustified and must be removed unconditionally,” the group said in a statement issued Wednesday, 16 March 2022.
Team Gongloe argued that while the war in Europe causes strain on the global economy including the prices of energy products, the Government’s justification for the sharp increases is groundless and unwarranted but deliberate to strangulate ordinary Liberians who the already dire state of the nation adversely affects.
“We acknowledge that Liberia is part of the global economy that feels the squeezes engendered by climbs of the prices of petroleum products largely due to the crisis. Yet, nowhere in the world with a comparable economy like Liberia’s, has the change been as massive or astronomical as the Government has imposed on its own citizens,” the group said.
In Sierra Leone, Team Gongloe argued, the Government there, has increased by a mere 65 cents the cost of a gallon of gasoline and diesel while Guinea and Togo are yet to announce any price increases.
In Togo, it continued, gasoline and diesel respectively stand at US$3.23 and US$3.31 though in Guinea, US$4.22.
In Ghana, where the petroleum market is deregulated, Team Gongloe said a gallon of gasoline and diesel go for US$4.33 whereas in Cote d’Ivoire, US$4.03 and US$3.914 respectively.
“Given the above mentioned, it is clear the gasoline and diesel fuel prices in other West African countries remain unchanged or have seen modest increases,” it added.
“Thus, the Liberian Government’s slogs of more than 40 and 36 percent in prices of the essential commodities are utterly unreasonable and disregard the adverse effect it now has on ordinary Liberian families and businesses.” Team Gongloe noted that these sharp changes in the prices have a direct effect on prices of food, transportation and other life essentials with which the poor barely cope.
Overall, it said, life in today’s Liberia is a nightmare given the worst electricity generation problems occasioned by constraints in running private generators for businesses and homes.
It continued that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-administration cannot continue to ignore growing public concerns over the increasing hardship Liberians see by its policies.
It warned that the silent public is aware of the current price exploitation, adding that countries with similar economic situations as Liberia cannot see less than 20 percent or no increase in their prices of gasoline and diesel fuel, while the Government of Liberia imposed massive increases under the same global economic situation.
“It does not make any sense! As governments around Africa and in other places intervene to minimize the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel to reduce the burden on their people, the Liberian Government administration must honestly act in the interest of the people to ensure the prices of the crucial commodities reflect the actual global realities.”
It noted that doing so, it must reduce the unfair taxes it has imposed on these products, and introduce fuel subsidy measures to alleviate the hardship.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-hardship-looms/