Some commercial drivers and motorcyclists in Monrovia are accusing the French petroleum company TOTAL Liberia of allegedly hiking the price of gasoline, but the company’s workers have denied the claim.
This paper has spoken to several drivers and motorcyclists at three of the company’s filling stations including Waterside, 2nd Street, Sinkor and Freeport.
Those interviewed allege that the workers of the company sell the gasoline to some of their colleagues at US$5.00, contrary to the Ministry of Commerce’s mandate on the petroleum crisis that has engulfed the country.
Johnson Richards Lawson, a 42 year-old-commercial driver, claim that the workers at the filling stations request buyers to be patient while others are provided gasoline.
He says it makes it difficult for them who troop to the filling stations in the early morning hours to get gasoline pumped into their vehicles.
According to Mr. Lawson, someday the workers would inform buyers to return at certain hour, but when they do, the filling stations would not make gasoline available as promised.
He also claim that the situation has resulted into vehicles being abandoned in the streets by operators due to lack of gasoline to move them.
Mohammed J. Seleke, a commercial motorcyclist at the filling station in Sinkor tells our reporter that bike riders have for several days now been struggling to buy gasoline for their motorcycles, but to no avail.
He alleges that gasoline is being sold at US$5.00, adding that his bike has been reportedly parked for a week because he cannot get gasoline to buy at TOTAL filling stations.
Seleke explains that those that can afford the US5.00 per gallon of gasoline are served while those who cannot afford the price are allegedly compelled to look for the product elsewhere.
Vehicles and motorcycles are parked daily at TOTAL filling stations to obtain gasoline, but many of them would not get some either due to lack of petroleum or insufficient quantity of the commodity to serve everyone trooping at the filling stations.
But staff of the French company TOTAL term version of the rivers and motorcyclists as erroneous claim, noting that since the gasoline crisis started, the company has and continues to distribute gasoline to its filling stations.
The staff who only identified themselves as Phil, Mooreland, and Geoffrey, disclose that contrary to the claims, TOTAL is selling its gasoline for US$321.00 and fuel oil for US$380.00.
They counter argue that the information being circulated by individuals does not represent the true picture.
They wonder how can TOTAL hike price when it is assisting government to address the current gasoline situation with regular meetings being held with the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), petroleum customers, and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
There has been no evidence produced by those making the allegations as investigation into the gasoline crisis continues.By Emmanuel Mondaye—Edited by Winston W. Parley