By Ndey Sowe
Momodou Hydara, Manager for Jah Oil Company, has informed Foroyaa that an intense negotiation is ongoing to resolve the stalemate between them and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
“We are working on resolving the standoff, we are working with stakeholders and we are in intense negotiation,” Hydara revealed in an interview with this medium on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
PURA in a letter dated 15 January, 2021 faulted Jah Oil Company for “illegally” constructing petrol stations and fined them close to one million dalasi.
However, Manager Hydara said they wrote to PURA in response to their letter on 18th January and wrote another subsequent letter to the Ministry of Petroleum requesting an enquiry into the matter.
“When we read their enforcement, it was outrageous because we still ask the question why us and now”, he said.
He said PURA stated that his-led company disregarded their authority.
Hydara said it was a shock to him that on 8th January, they reapplied for the Wellingara and Kairaba (two proposed sites for the construction of petrol stations) since they were told that the regulation has been revised. He said instead of PURA replying to them, they came up with a fine.
“PURA did not reply to us still now, but the minister summon a meeting which the Trade Ministry, Petroleum Ministry, PURA attended,” he said.
In the said meeting, Hydara said they asked PURA to give them an example of one station or two that has met their criteria of been situated 50 meters away from places of residences, institutions and public assembly. He said PURA cannot provide any example.
In regards to approval from Gambian authorities for the construction of the said petrol stations, Hydara said: “It was approved by the building authorities for us to construct this structure (that’s the planning) and for Kairaba is the same thing.”
Hydara further said the fire service also is a stakeholder in the petroleum industry, and they also conducted a visit and clear the two sites.
“The press release was out before we even receive the letter from PURA. So I said PURA already enforced their decision when I was expecting a different reply. It was later in the day I received the letter that was on Friday.
“When I read the letter I was a little confused. Online says nine hundred thousand and PURA say 1.2 million,” he said.
Hydara said he went to PURA and asked how he was going to make the payment. He said PURA asked him to pay via cheque, an amount of 1.2 million dalasi.
“I drafted the cheque and made the payment right there and I was issued a receipt,” he cited.