Monrovia – There is a stock accounting problem at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) which could plunge the country into another petroleum crisis if not immediately addressed.
According to reports, the stock of petroleum products recorded on the books of LPRC is far above the actual product in the storage facilities.
This situation is similar to what led to the massive shortage experienced in 2020 which lasted for almost a month as a result of incorrect fuel reserve figures.
Over the past week, there have been reports of about 1.5 million gallons of automotive gasoline oil (AGO) belonging to Petro Trade not being available in storage tanks though LPRC’s reconciliation of stock on the books as of June 17, indicated that there is 1,474,576 gallons of AGO. This product, however, is not available to Petro Trade for lifting.
FrontPageAfrica had earlier reported from sources that the management of LPRC had allowed Aminata and Sons to lift and transport the product to Sierra Leone which recently faced a shortage of petroleum products.
The LPRC management had therefore informed Petro Trade that Aminata had 400,000 gallons of its product while NEXIUM had 300,000 gallons.
Therefore, Aminata & Sons was to supply Petro Trade 50,000 gallons of product daily until the Petro Trade is fully replenished NEXIUM was also to supply Petro Trade 35,000 gallons daily.
However, the CEO of Aminata & Sons, Mr. Emmanuel Togba, refuted having any product for Petro Trade and alleged that Petro Trade was on a spree to tarnish the image of the LPRC management.
“Because if you allege these things, it means that you are trying to bring the reputation and the integrity of the senior management team of the LPRC under the box. It is important for people to understand that this is wrong. It is wrong not only by the Petro Trade but it is wrong for the country,” Togba said when he appeared on Prime FM on Wednesday.
He challenged Petro Trade to address their concerns with LPRC while arguing that Aminata & Sons it is LPRC’s responsibility to account for their product.
“That is their problem. I bought products that only fit in my tanks and once it was that way, I got 100 percent over my tank,” he said.
Mr. Togba disclosed that Petro Trade brought in more products than their storage could take which has led to the situation they are faced with.
He insisted that it is LPRC’s responsibility to ensure that products imported into the country are safe and secured.
An LPRC insider hinted that Aminata tank was used to host some products belonging to Petro Trade with the consent of both parties. However, Aminata took advantage of the situation and lifted the product despite knowing they had limited product in the facility.
Mr. Togba, however, while on Prime FM said Petro Trade has never put a single gallon of their product in its storage.
“I don’t monitor Petro Trade’s activity. I monitor Aminata’s activity. They have not put one gallon in my tank; I have not lifted it out of my tank. To the best of my knowledge, absolutely nothing is missing. The way we manage our operations if Petro Trade does maybe 75 percent of what I do, they will not go into that situation. I don’t know what they are doing there, maybe they have some stock accounting problem,” he said.
FrontPageAfrica has seen a June 17, 2022 communication from the management of LPRC to the CEO of Aminata & Sons indicating “Please be informed that upon LRPC’s reconciliation of your stocks, our book balances indicate that you have -319,561 gallons AGO.
“Should you have any reservation on this quantity, we request that you respond to management in the soonest possible time.”
The communication was signed by the Deputy Managing Director for Operation, Mr. Adrian Mario.
The disclosure of the letter suggests that Aminata & Sons has lifted more products than it has on the books and therefore has to replenish about 319,561 gallons which explains why the management of LPRC had earlier informed Petro Trade through a meeting with both parties that Aminata & Sons had some of their products.