... This is for an emergency, says Minister Nagbe
The Liberian government through the Ministry of Information has disclosed that over 12,300 metric tons are expected to dock at the Freeport of Monrovia. Minister Eugene Nagbe addressing a team of reporters at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia over the weekend said that this Sunday, February 16, 2020, the government ordered petroleum ship will be arriving in the country.
He disclosed further that several thousand gallons of gasoline came to the country on February 13, which he said is not sufficient, but it is for an emergency.
"It is unfortunate that we have discovered this problem at this time; we apologize to the Liberian public," Minister Nagbe acknowledged.
In recent days Minister Nagbe publicly admitted that stakeholders in the gasoline crisis in the country were not providing adequate and factual information to the public; a situation he said was exacerbating the crisis facing the country.
According to him, the government of Liberia, following series of meetings with stakeholders in the petroleum sector has ordered a bigger vessel to dock within ten-day. The Information Minister said as the gasoline arrives, the government will continue its discussion that is ongoing to address the shortage of the product.
Minister Nagbe also noted that while the government is trying to resolve this problem, citizens should exercise some level of restraint because the government wants to have a permanent solution to these problems.
"We are going to establish a national strategy reserve for all commodities that are very essential to the livelihood of our people which will include fuel, gasoline rice and the President has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to do an assessment to determine which commodity to fall in that category," Minster Nagbe stated.
He further clarified that the government is not giving any excuse as being perceived by the public, adding that the government is a responsible government and as such, it is working hard to fix problems.
"From both the petroleum importers and the LPRC, the data shows that we had up to four months' worth of fuel in reserve, so when the minister transmitted that to the public, we realized that the report on the documents had a great variance of the gasoline that was actually available," said Minister Nagbe.
He also clarified that it was based on the prevailing situations in the country, President Weah set up a committee to investigate and by Wednesday of next week the team will come up with the report and present it to the president and the president will take the necessary actions.
He said President Weah also constituted said committee to investigate and determine the problem because, at the supervision levels, they have observed other discrepancies and that was why the public said the Minster of Commerce (Wilson Tarpeh) lied, adding that the information given was based on the data collected and made available to Minister Tarpeh.
Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe has disclosed that the government of Liberia, along with some private licensed petroleum dealers, "we have reached out to neighbors to important emergency gasoline, we have received the first commencement from Sierra Leon which will be supplied to various gas stations across the country soon.
"While that is ongoing a vessel with over several thousand metric tons of petroleum product is expected in the country on this Sunday, February 16, 2020," he declared. He also noted that these measures taken with the neighbors to bring in gasoline is for an emergency.
Conex, Aminata products come in
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer has reliably learnt that two licensed Liberian petroleum importers, Conex Petroleum and Aminata, are due to offload a consignment of 3.5 million gallons of gasoline, "hopefully by Monday," our source said, meaning today, February 17.