Liberia: 20 Tankers Reportedly on Way to Sierra Leone for Gasoline to Help Curb Crisis

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A FrontPageAfrica correspondent in the Bo Waterside area counted some 20 trucks moving toward Sierra Leone Tuesday night and a senior administration official confirmed on condition of anonymity that the trucks were headed to Sierra Leone to get gasoline.

Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has been reliably informed that about 20 gasoline tankers left Monrovia late Tuesday en route to Sierra Leone in hopes of getting gasoline to help curb the ongoing shortage of the key commodity in the country.


The report comes as consumers’ worst fears that the fuel reserves have come up empty appears to now be a reality.

A FrontPageAfrica correspondent in the Bo Waterside area counted some 20 trucks moving toward Sierra Leone Tuesday night and a senior administration official confirmed on condition of anonymity that the trucks were headed to Sierra Leone.

It is unclear whether the gasoline will be purchased from a private company or who engineered the arrangement.

The same source said the government is expecting two vessels in on Sunday but said it is not sure whether that is definite.

Dredging, which has been blamed for the shortage, commenced late last week, focusing the main entrance of the port.

FPA has gathered from viewing of port records that the port was dredged in 2017 by Nordsee Dredging International, a subsidiary of Dredging Environment Marine International (DEME Group). Four years earlier, in 2012, another company, Van Oord dredged the port.

As Liberians continue to line up at filling stations across the country, economists fear the ongoing saga could pose serious long-term implications for the already dwindling economy in the wake of massive rise in prices of other key commodities due to the gasoline shortage wreaking havoc for consumers.

In 2017, Nordsee, a Norwegian company, dredged the entrance channel, harbor basin, and the quay side of the FUF(fuel unloading facility).

FPA reported this week that the current dredging being done is only for the entrance channel which has been sub-contracted to Van Oord by an unnamed company, FPA has not been able to determine as this report went to press.

The latest report of trucks making their way to Sierra Leone, comes amid growing concerns that the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change government which had been planning a retreat set for Saturday is now contemplating putting the retreat off out of fear that the turnout may be low due to the shortage of gasoline in the counry.

On Monday, the government through the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, urged Liberians to remain calm as the government explore ways of dealing with the crisis.

After months of denial, disjointed explanations and counter blame game over dredging, the government finally acknowledged what has been feared for weeks. “The Government of Liberia empathizes with the public for the difficulty they have had to go through over the last couple of weeks in obtaining petroleum products from stations across the country. Due to the shortage of gasoline, in many instances, people are made to stand in long queues for several hours before getting served,” the statement noted.

Although the administration says it has purchased emergency supplies which are due in the country within one week to alleviate the situation, many Liberians are unsure.

Critics have also taken the government to task over the lack of independence of the committee constituted to look into the gasoline shortage.

President Weah on Monday named a Special Taskforce, headed by Trokon Kpui, Minister of State Without Portfolio, to investigate and establish what caused an estimated 60 percent discrepancy between importers’ inventory reports of products at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and actual stock of products at its petroleum storage facilities. The task force mandate will cover the period between January 2017 and January 2020.

The presence of only government officials on the Task Force is not going down well amongst Liberians due to what many say, has been a lack of transparency and accountability on the matter since murmurs of the shortage and failure to dredge the port began to surface.

As Liberians continue to line up at filling stations across the country, economists fear the ongoing saga could pose serious long-term implications for the already dwindling economy in the wake of massive rise in prices of other key commodities due to the gasoline shortage wreaking havoc for consumers.

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