Liberia: LPRC Mum on Missing US$6m Worth of Petroleum; Biggest Retailer Risks Shutdown

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MONROVIA – Multiple attempts by media outlets, including the FrontPageAfrica, to get comments from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) under whose watch over 1.5 million gallons of petroleum products worth about US$6 million have proved futile.

The LPRC management has the statutory mandate to procure and supply quality petroleum and petroleum products to the Liberian market.

Private importers like Petro Trade store their petroleum products in LPRC’s storage facilities near the Free Port of Monrovia.

Despite the news of the missing product being on the air for over a week now, the LPRC management remains mum on the issue.

FrontPageAfrica gathered from Petro Trade that several attempts by them to get an explanation from LPRC have been futile.

The owners of Petro Trade informed FrontPageAfrica that their suppliers have lost confidence in LPRC and may likely not ship any consignment of petroleum products to Liberia until there is a full-scale investigation and explanation and accountability for the missing product.

FrontPageAfrica had earlier that the management of LPRC had informed Petro Trade that their products were lifted by Aminata and NEXIUM – competitors in the business. Petro Trade, however, wondered why the products were lifted without their consent and who authorized the lifting of the products.

Petro Trade insists that their products were stored with LPRC and not the two competitors.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that the products were lifted by Aminata and taken to Sierra Leone to help ease their recent petroleum crisis. This paper has, however, not been able to independently verify this information.

But according to the management of Petro Trade, LPRC had informed them that Aminata has 400,000 gallons of their product while Nexium has 300,000, and based on that, Aminata will supply them 50,000 gallons daily while NEXIUM would also give 35,000 gallons daily. These supplies, according to them, are not forthcoming.

Petro Trade warned lamented that there is a huge difference between the stock on the books at LPRC and the actual stocks in the storage facilities – this, they claim is a recipe for a massive shortage of products on the market in the coming weeks.

According to them, the mismanagement of their products by the LPRC is hugely affecting their investments.

It can be recalled that in 2020, Liberia suffered a massive shortage of petroleum products due to incorrect fuel reserve figures.

Fuel distributors which overstated their reserves are also partly to blame for the shortage, according to an official from the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC).

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