Liberia: Bikers Block Main Streets of Buchana Over Gasoline Shortage

Buchanan — Pehn-Pehn and Keh-Keh riders or bicyclists in the industrial city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County have blocked the main streets in a bid to draw the county government's attention to the lack of fuel at filling stations.

Some of the cyclists complained to our reporter in the county that some gas stations like Total have skyrocketed prices and many cannot afford.

All this as the government continue to insist that it has sufficient fuel to keep the market calm.

In Monrovia, cars continue to pile up at filling stations and many commuters, particularly students are finding it difficult to get to school and employees too are challenged getting to work.

Commerce and Industry Minister Dr. Wilson Tarpeh told OK FM morning Show Tuesday that there is no need to panic as sufficient fuel and gasoline are in the country and a lot more are expected.

Authorities at the National Port Authority(NPA) have dismissed suggestions that the shortage is tied to the failure of the government to dredge the port even as the draft at LPRC oil jetty has been reduced from 13 to 10.

FPA has learned that a tanker brought gasoline products last week into the country but was unable to berth and it went back. It is unclear what caused the impact on the jetty's capacity.

CONEX, a private terminal operator which has a bigger draft, has limited storage capacity. CONEX has Petroleum products but only supplies Total - its biggest and most important client.

Concerns are heightening that if the Freeport of Monrovia is not dredged, it may prevent the docking of giant size vessels that often bring into the country essential products, consequently causing an economic crisis. The Freeport has not been dredged since 2016.

The National Port Authority has not officially responded to these speculations, but in a Sunday Facebook post apparently intended to respond to issue of the delay in dredging the port, the head of communications of the NPA, Malcolm Scott wrote that "the NPA is well on course with the required two years conventional dredging plans".

Wrote Scott: "The Port Management has since issued a release about an upcoming dredging... , in line with worldwide best approach. The current port management team has also said going forward; it will not allow the old age three to five years approach by the past government before dredging.

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