total-motorbikes-lprc- Image: FPA

Full Text: Social media users and Independent Probe, a media outlet in Liberia, claimed that the government has increased petroleum prices amidst a struggling economy.

The claim is seen here, while the story was published here on February 10, 2024. 

Those claims indicated that the Joseph Boakai-led administration had raised the price of petroleum on the local market within weeks of assuming office.

Liberians’ reactions to the publication were divided according to the government’s mandate for economic stability. See here and here.

Verification: The Stage Media contacted Chester Smith on the publication of the story via WhatsApp, and he said the government self-acknowledged our report given the discrepancy in their earlier press release, and did issue another release clarifying the earlier release.

“The government announced that it had adjusted the price of those commodities without mentioning whether there were upward or downward adjustments.”

Smith furthers that the last reduction by the government was in March 2022, with a lower figure for petroleum products. The government announced that it would go to 850 when its previous figure was 750–800, constituting an increment.

“More so, the government release did not mention the prevailing price for which it has adjusted. Leaving the IPNEWS with deductive reasons and holding all factors for a government increase,” he said.

Additionally, the government, through its  Executive Mansion Facebook page, described the Ministry and the LPRC circular as “good news.”

First circular

The Managing Director of the Liberia Refinery Company, Amos Tweh, also wrote on his Facebook page that there was an adjustment in the petroleum price.

“LPRC and the Ministry of Commerce announce reductions in the pump prices of gas and diesel, respectively, for February. Thanks to the global price index (Platts),” said Tweh.

The LPRC management and the Ministry of Commerce maintained that the government of Liberia had reduced the price of petroleum products on the local market, contrary to false and misleading information being spread by “unscrupulous individuals.”

In another release issued on February 10, 2024, the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company said the government published the price circular, which showed the reduction in the prices of petroleum products.

“The price of gasoline, which was US$4.47, is now US$4.43/LRD 850.00, while the price of diesel, which was US$5.23, is now US$5.01/LRD 960.00,” the release added.

current circular

On his Facebook page, Commerce Minister Amin Modad announced that prices had been reduced.

Modad stated, “The GOL is pleased to announce the reduction in the prices of gas (PMS) and diesel/fuel oil (AGO) by $0.04 and $0.22, respectively, based on the global benchmark prices published by the PLATTS Report. While these prices might fluctuate, we reassure the public that we are working assiduously with stakeholders to ensure the unhindered supply of petroleum products on the market at the most competitive prices possible.

Conclusion: Given the information acquired, the Independent Probe Online News and social media users’ claims about fuel hikes are untrue.


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