In a statement issued in Monrovia on how to address the ongoing gasoline crisis, Cummings encouraged the Gol to reach out to neighboring Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast to explore the possibility of getting supplies of gasoline using road-tankers until a vessel is able to dock at the National Port Authority(NPA).
Cummings wants the GoL to immediately begin a stock-taking of the quantity of rice in country to determine Liberia’s preparedness to prevent a shortage of rice for the next three weeks as well as provide a timeline for the completion of the dredging of the port and estimated time of arrival of emergency fuel supply.
Cummings also recommended the dismissal of the heads of the NPA and the Minister of Commerce and Industry for their “incompetence” in preventing and handling the prevailing nationwide shortage of gasoline which is now having a toll on citizens.
The ANC Political Leader further recommended the closure of schools for a period of one week pending the arrival of gasoline in the country to ease the situation as it has become nearly impossible for students to get to school and that he wants President George Manneh Weah address the nation immediately, speak to the people and “stop taking Liberians for granted”.
“No serious government would elect to prioritize politics over the general well-being of its people, to the point of ignoring their pains and leaving them to trek long distances, and or spend considerable portions of their days and night struggling to acquire gas, while officials drive by in their cozy government cars under the comfort of air condition,” the ANC Political Leader accentuated.
While lamenting the current gasoline situation in the country, the prominent Liberian opposition politician recalled that though the current short supply of gasoline began about a month ago, the government vehemently denied the situation which has now culminated into a national crisis spiraling the already struggling economy downward.
He blamed the situation on what he called the incompetence of public officials and criticized President Weah for missing out on an opportunity to have addressed on the nation on the development when he addressed members of the Armed Forces of Liberia(AFL) on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.
He then cautiously warned that the situation, if not handled immediately, could get worse.
However, the GoL has said it has employed a new and short-term strategy by purchasing emergency supplies which is intended to address the shortage of gasoline on the Liberian market.
It stressed that the current situation is disturbing and cannot be allowed to continue, assuring the general public that the emergency supplies are due in the country within one week to alleviate the situation.
It can be recalled recently that the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Prof. Tarpeh attributed the scarcity of petroleum products on the Liberian market to the unavailability and limited supply of the product which, he said, has now put some pressure on the market.
The shortage of the product on the Liberian market has raised the concern of the GoL, which expressed empathy with the public for the difficulty they have had to go through over the last couple of weeks in obtaining petroleum products from stations across the country.
Due to the shortage of gasoline, in many instances, people are made to stand in long queues for several hours before getting served.
Minister Nagbe asserted that the government treats the constant availability and supply of petroleum and other essential commodities on the market with utmost importance.
"This is why President George MannehWeah has constituted a special taskforce, headed by Honorable TrokonKpui, Minister of State Without Portfolio, to investigate and establish what caused an estimated 60 percent discrepancy between importers' inventory reports of products at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and actual stock of products at its petroleum storage facilities," the Minister of Information noted.
According to the MICAT boss, the taskforce mandate will cover the period between January 2017 and January 2020.
Minister Nagbe disclosed that as an additional measure to remedial the shortage of gasoline in Liberia, the Ministry of Commerce and the LPRC have been mandated by President Weah to work with importers to ensure that the limited stocks available are distributed properly.
"While this is ongoing, the government appeals to the general public for patience as it works to remedy the situation," the Government spokesperson pleaded with the citizenry.