Fafa Sanyang, the minster of Petroleum and Energy during yesterday's Africa Ministerial Roundtable Virtual Meeting jointly hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Senegal on the Impact of Covid-19 on Africa's Energy Sector, proposed for ECOWAS member states to promote the use of liquid petroleum gas in order to eradicate the use of fuel wood and charcoal.
Minister Sanyang explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the petroleum sector in The Gambia in various ways, saying for precautionary measures, the government gave directive for all the commercial vehicles to reduce the number of their passengers to 30%.
He added that as a result of the restriction on the movement of vehicles during the lockdown, the demand for fuel has reduced and due to petrol downturn, the government has reduced the pump prices of petrol by 25%, diesel by 23% and kerosene by 44%.
In The Gambia, he said petroleum contributes significantly to the revenue and the reduction of the pump prices has directly affected the revenue base of government in 2020.
He said the Covid-19 has created uncertainty and delay in the petroleum activities because their partners had to postpone their activities till 2021.
He applauded the regional integration efforts, while adding the at this moment of low oil and gas prices, the ECOWAS member states can promote the use of cooking gas in order to eradicate the use of fuel wood. "In The Gambia almost 80% of our domestic energy is coming from fuel wood and charcoal."
"Low oil price can lead to the falling of service fees due to low demand. We are trying, taking the opportunity of that to see how best we can intensify to extend our activities. We are working with the African legal support facility to help in reviewing our legislature and regulations."