By Adama Makasuba
The Gambia government has leaped forward to resolve a recent row over fuel which briefly paralysed transportation across the country during the weekend.
However, Ebrima G Sankareh said in a statement that the matter was resolved following hours of meeting and negotiation between the government and Oil Marketing Companies.
“Following hours of meetings and intense negotiations with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) today, The Gambia Government is pleased to announce that filling stations across the country have resumed selling fuel with immediate effect. Prices of petrol and diesel remain unchanged. The Gambia Government under President Adama Barrow will continue to preside over this crucial sector of our economy with the right policies and actions including regular consultations with stakeholders,” he said.
“Significantly, the Barrow Government has from January 2022 to date provided at least 1.3 billion Dalasis in fuel subsidies to help stabilize the prices. The subsidy for September 2022 alone is some 5.6 million Dalasis. Ever since the stoppage at the pumps yesterday, the Barrow Government has been tirelessly working towards the timely resolution of this unfortunate situation affecting the lives and livelihoods of Gambians,” he added.
Meanwhile, Seedy SK Njie, deputy speaker of the national assembly, urged the Ministry of Energy and the Gambia National Petroleum Company GNPC to double up in ensuring that in 2023, they increase their service stations in the country.
“I sympathize with the ordinary Gambians, the commuters, the women gardeners, the people who use public and private transport to go to work daily and go to school about the unfortunate situation of the refusal of fuel stations to provide fuel services and sell fuel to Gambians creating difficulty and anxiety among Gambians.
“Since President Adama Barrow came to power in 2017, he has created and agreed to a lot of concessions and incentives for the private sector anchored on his belief that public-private partnership is an engine for growth for society. His government has always worked hard to create an enabling environment for all and sundry, both public and private,” he said.
“I want to urge the Ministry of Energy and the Gambia National Petroleum Company GNPC to double up in ensuring that in 2023, they increase their service stations and presence in Banjul, KM, West Coast, and all the regions of the country as well as ensure that enough fuel is available in this country and our reserve full to capacity at any time. This is the surest way of ensuring nobody holds innocent ordinary Gambians to ransom. I encourage dialogue between the private sector involved in the fuel trade, Ministry of Finance, and other agencies for a win-win solution so that ordinary Gambians wouldn’t suffer,” he added.