Africa

Liberia: Gas Price Hike Causing Transportation Woes in Southeast

Reports from the southeastern part of the small West African country of Liberia reveal that scores of commercial drivers, motorcyclists and ‘keke’ riders have decided to park their vehicles and motorbikes if nothing is done to reduce the hike in the price of gasoline on the local market.

Political Map of Liberia

Political Map of Liberia

According to the information gathered by a correspondent of West African Journal Magazine, there is a serious shortage of gasoline in the far southeast  sub-political sub-division of Maryland County bordering Cote d’Ivoire that has caused an increase in the price of gasoline; as a result, the price of gasoline has increased from $400LD ($3.22 USD) to $600LD ($4.83 USD) per gallon while half gallon is being sold for $300LD ($3.22 USD).

The shortage of gasoline on the Liberian market has caused commercial drivers, motorcyclists union to convene meetings amongst themselves to discuss the current situation which has led to the rapid increase in the prices of various commodities especially Liberia’s staple food, rice.

During the meetings, both transportation unions called on the government of Liberia and the petrol dealers in the county to reduce the gasoline price from $600LD ($4.83 USD) to $400LD $3.22 USD) in order to reduce transport fares and other basic commodities.

Following the meeting, a motorcyclists told our reporter that their request was accepted by one of the filing stations management who agreed but urged that the request be made available to all parties so that they can reach a decision in the best interest of the dealers.

Gas Sold In Jars In Liberia

Gas Sold In Jars In Liberia

With the hike in the price of gasoline in the sub-political division, commuters are now paying $300LD ($3.22 USD) from city of Harper to Pleebo, while others are paying $75LD (.60 USD) from Central Harper to the Tubman University (TU) Campus in the
county.

The motorcyclists have warned that they will park their equipment if the price of gasoline remains high.
“The gasoline price has increased, and we are not getting any profit from the round town traffic,” William Hinneh, a motorcyclists said.

Meanwhile, citizens of Maryland County are calling on the new national government to address the issue of transportation fare hike in and the price of gasoline because this is causing serious economic hardship in the county as business people are using this situation to exploit them.

Ministry of Finance of Liberia logo

Ministry of Finance of Liberia logo

In an interview with a local businessman only identified as Daniel, he said to travel to other parts of the county has become difficult because of the increase in the price of gasoline. He said the hike in the price of petroleum has caused business owners in the county to suffer serious deficits.

The Weah administration has not laid out an economic plan to address the decline of the Liberian dollar (LD) against the US dollar. The current rate of exchange between the Liberian dollar and the US dollar is $124 LD – $1.00 USD.

By Lincoln Barcon reporting from Monrovia, Liberia