Not For Profiteering

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 4, 2004

JUST YESTERDAY, THE National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), issued a statement announcing an increase in the pump price of petroleum products on the local market.

THE DECISION WAS announced following a consultative meeting held between the government represented by Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson, the LPRC management, importers of petroleum products as well as the Ministers of Finance, Commerce, Justice and Transport.

AT THE END of the meeting, the government said in the statement that gasoline will now be sold for US$2.60 or L$145.00, while diesel will be sold for US$2.65 or L$150.00 for pump price.

THIS PRONOUNCEMENT FROM the government, comes against the backdrop of the persistent increase of gasoline products on the world market coupled with reports that importers of the products are unwilling to bring the commodity into the country unless if there was an increase on the local market since they were operating at a loss.

THE GOVERNMENT’S STATEMENT said the new increment in the price of petroleum products, has reached a proportion that has compelled it to take this decision so as to avert an imminent shortage of petroleum supply on the local market.

WE APPLAUD THE government’s decision taken thus far to handle this matter with extreme care and relative calmness for the general interest of all concerned taking into consideration that gasoline is a pervasive commodity.

AT THE SAME time, we are happy that all the relevant institutions that have a stake in this matter, especially as it relates to the sale and regulation of price of the commodity, what matters now is that these institutions, particularly the Commerce Ministry, should ensure that unscrupulous individuals do not exploit this insignificant increase to carry on unnecessary profiteering.

ADDITIONALLY, WE WOULD like to commend all the parties to the meeting for the bold step taken and the maturity exercised in handling the situation. We urge them to do all within their power to further ensure that there is a constant supply of the products on the local market .

LET THOSE WHO may be harboring the intention to arbitrarily increase the price of the commodity bear in mind that such action would unnecessary add to the suffering of the Liberian people, since it is not a hidden fact that the petroleum product is pervasive and needs to be available at all times on the market.

THE MOVE BY the government and the importers should be seen as in the right direction because the increase on the world market continues to affect nations of the world. There have been price increases in many countries in the world. Interestingly, despite the insignificant increase in the prices of the commodity here, Liberia still stands as one of the nations where the product is relatively cheap on the market.

LASTLY, WE THANK the management of the LPRC for the way and manner in which they handled the effects of the increase on the world market. Indeed, the brainstorming exercise yesterday was healthy and in the best interest of the country.

ONCE GAIN, WE hail this decision for the continued supply of the products and warn against exploitation for profiteering. This is a time for understanding and not profiteering.
Arts And Culture

The Providence Island - A forgotten or abandoned heritage?
Arts and Culture today is looking at a very important cultural heritage- The Providence Island, which was originally called the Dozoa Island. From its original name, it was first renamed Perseverance Island, to indicate that the settlers who came to Liberia had the determination to find a new home despite all the setbacks they had encountered at the Sherbro Island, now in the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The country’s history will remain incomplete if the name of this memorable island is not mentioned as the place where freed slaves from America first lived upon migration from the United States to Liberia.

Since the arrival of freed slaves between 1820-1865, the island has remained a living embodiment of the country taking into consideration the role it played in the nation’s history. As an historic center, the Providence Island has been used to host cultural and other activities that seek to promote the talents of the nation’s performing artists including musicians, culture performers, traditional singers and dancers among others.

But like most other institutions, the island has been lying in ruins for the last several years with absolutely no or little attention made to revamp its facilities so it could continue to play its role of promoting the cultural heritage of the nation.

This column is today highlighting the plight of the Providence Island and the need to save the island from being destroyed further as well as what is being done or should be done to preserve this important cultural heritage of ours.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.