The President of the Consumer Protection Agency, Ibrahim Kabia is on a vigorous campaign demanding that Government drops the pump price of fuel in line with the global fall in oil prices.
Currently, oil has dropped to almost US$30 per barrel but petrol or diesel is still Le.3, 750 per litre. The price per barrel fell from $108 in late 2013 to about $30 in January this year but there was only one major decrease. That Major decrease in pump price was a year ago when the price was reduced to Le3, 750 from Le4, 500 per litre.
“The people are yearning for a reasonable decrease in the pump price,” Mr. Ibrahim Kabia stressed. The reasonable decrease he suggested is Le.2, 500 per litre. He took a swipe at some civil society groups who claim to understand the position of the oil companies and the struggle to get the needed foreign exchange to import oil.
“There are people calling themselves civil society but they are evil societies,” he said. Mr. Kabia accused these organisations of siding with the oil companies and neglecting the very people the claim to speak for. He emphasized that there had been no corresponding decrease in pump price despite the global fall in oil prices for months. It would have been the reverse if the price of oil had been increasing, he noted.
One barrel of oil contains 159 litres. One metric ton of oil is about 7.5 barrels on average, depending on the density of the petroleum or petroleum byproduct, according to Wikipedia. Multiplying 159 litres by the price per litre of Le.3, 750 will amount to Le.596, 250 or US$102, using the black market exchange rate. This is more than three times the current price of US$30 per barrel.
Mr. Peter Murray Jr., Compliance Manager of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency said Government was discussing the fuel prices and Government will address it appropriately.
The Gambia reduced fuel prices by at least eight percent from the February 1. Petrol is now sold at Gambian Dalasi D53.77 per litre, diesel at D49.59 and kerosene at D46.09.
US Dollar sells at 41.66 Dalasi per Dollar, according to the exchange rate of the Central Bank of The Gambia yesterday.