The National Assembly deputy speaker has called on The Gambia Government to set up its own petrol stations to avoid repeat of the weekend fuel shortage.

Seedy SK Njie lambasted private petrol station owners of holding the country to ransom over the price of fuel. 

“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,” Mr Njie said. 

“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.

Vehicles were forced off the roads due to lack of fuel over the weekend. Some accused the petrol dealers of hoarding fuel to force a price increase. 

Gambia government spokesman denied there was a shortage of fuel accusing the fuel dealers of blatantly refusing to sell fuel amid their demand to increase price. 

The spokesman added that the sector is heavily subsidised by the government to avoid fuel price increase. 

The fuel crisis has now been resolved, but there is still transportation adversity in parts of the Greater Banjul, as some drivers already increased fares.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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