President George Manneh Weah has with immediate, dismissed the Deputy Managing Director for Operations of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, Bobby Brown, for gross negligence and fraudulent activities.
Mr. Brown is to be investigated by the appropriate authorities and, if found guilty, will be prosecuted under the full weight of the law.
According to a press release, the dismissal is one of several punitive actions taken by the President based on findings from a “Special Presidential Petroleum Task Force” on the recent petroleum crisis at the LPRC that led to nationwide shortage of gasoline here, characterized by protests.
The President says during this process, any other personnel found to be directly linked to illegality with regards to petroleum movements will face prompt administrative actions, including prosecution under the law.
At the same time President Weah announces that all petroleum importers who currently have payments for provisional lifting products still outstanding are hereby given 90 days to restitute the products, either in cash or in kind, while importers that willfully transferred products stored at their facilities, equally have 90 days to restitute the products, either in cash or in kind.
President Weah orders the Ministry of Justice to place such importers in receivership until the products are recovered, and warns that failure to replenish the products within the specified time will result in revocation of importers’ licenses and forfeiture of allocated storage facilities.
The President accordingly, suspends all petroleum importers licenses and directs that they individually subject to a performance-based review covering the period January 2017 to January 2020.
“Re-activation of licenses will be done on a case-by-case basis, and those that do not meet performance and capacity requirements satisfactory to the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be subject to revocation”, the Liberia leader says.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia assures petroleum importers that all products accepted into the storage facilities of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be protected from fraudulent and illegal manipulation.
The Special Task Force was mandated to identify the cause of the recent petroleum shortage in Liberia; as well as the variances between importers stocks balances and the actual stock balances of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), presented its Report to the President on February 21, 2020.