Monrovia – Amid public concerns about the hike in the price of petroleum products following the Liberian government’s announcement of new pump prices, many Liberians have taken to Facebook claiming that the country has the highest pump price of gasoline in Africa.
Report By: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf | LVL Fact Checker
On June 8, 2022, the government issued a press release stating that “US$0.80 cents will be added on to the current retail price of gasoline, thus increasing the cost from US$5.10 to US$5.90. Diesel will now be sold at the pump price of US$6.90 from its previous price.”
This prompted several Facebook posts from many, notably the Secretary General of Unity Party, Mo Ali, who claimed that the price increment in Liberia the highest gasoline pump price in Africa.
His post carried a list of countries and their respective prices of gasoline. The countries are Sierra Leone US$4.35, Guinea US$5.00, Ivory Coast US$4.56, Ghana US$4.93, Togo US$3.88, Benin US$3.73, Rwanda US$5.00, Lesotho US$5.10, and Tanzania US$4.86.
But when Local Voices Liberia Fact Checking Desk checked, we found that in Sierra Leone the Petroleum Regulatory Agency on June 9, 2022 announced new prices of petroleum products at 18,000 Leones per liter with the previous price at 12,000 Leones. Given the exchange rate (13,152.84 Leones to US$1) issued by the Bank of Sierra Leon. This means a gallon of gasoline is sold for US$5.47 and not US$4.35 as claimed in the many Facebook posts.
In Ghana, we found that as of June 7 a gallon of gasoline is now US$5.69. Our finding was based on GOIL Company Limited – a petroleum company which the Ghanaian government owns the highest share. A liter of gas in Ghana is sold for 10.10 Cedi and with the current exchange rate (7.14 Cedi to US$1) set by the Bank of Ghana this means one gallon is US$5.69 USD and not 4.93USD as claimed in the social media post.
In Ivory Coast, the government announced increment in the price of gas to 735 FCFA per liter. Given the current exchange rate (627.00 FCFA to US$1) by the Central Bank of West African States of which Ivory Coast is a member state, a gallon of gas costs US$4.91.
The Rwanda Utilities Regulator Authority on June 9, 2022 announced new prices of petroleum products bringing the price of gas to 1,460 Frw for one liter of gas. Using the June 10, 2022 exchange rate (1,013.01 FRW to US$1) of the National Bank of Rwanda, one gallon of gasoline costs US$5.76.
For South Africa, the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy announced new prices of petroleum products which came into effect on June 1, 2022. The new price shows that 1 liter is sold for 23.94 Rand which is put at US $5.98 based on the exchange rate (16.00 Rand to US$1) of the South African Reserve Bank.
The Seychelles Petroleum Company Limited on June 14, 2022, out the price of gasoline at SCR24.1 (Seychelles Rupee) per liter, and considering the June 13 exchange rate (14.00 SCR to US$1) provided by its Central Bank – a gallon costs US$6.88.
Based on our research, it is known by the data provided that Liberia, like many African countries, has increased the price of gasoline in recent weeks. However, based on the information reviewed relative to prices in other countries, we found the claim that Liberia has the highest price of gasoline on Africa to be incorrect.
South Africa’s US $5.98 per gallon, Morocco US$6.91, Seychelles US$6.88, Cape Verde US$6.98, and Central African Republic at US$9.28 are all prices higher than the US$5.90 price for a gallon of gasoline announced by the government of Liberia. The claim that Liberia has the highest pump price for a gallon of gas in Africa is incorrect.
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