Fuel consumers like car owners and drivers, generator users and others have been desperately searching for fuel around the Greater Banjul Area to meet their daily energy need. They moved on foot, ride bicycles and drove cars from one pumping station in Greater Banjul Area to another in a frantic effort to acquire fuel for their use.
Mr Modou Panneh, downstream manager of the national petroleum retailing company, told The Standard that there is a general fuel shortage in town. “As far as I know, there is general fuel shortage in town. That is why our stations got closed,” he said, when contacted yesterday to shed light on why there was no business at their stations.
Mr Panneh could not give any further explanation about the details of the situation, maintaining that he is not the right person to speak about it. When contacted for more information, Mr Mama Tamba Jammeh of GNPC said: “As at now, we are like all other oil marketing companies, OMCs, in The Gambia. We all buy from Gampetroleum at the Mandinari depot. However, we can only buy when the fuel is available,” said Mr Jammeh, noting that they are not licensed to import fuel into the country.
When put to him that Gampetroleum denied fuel shortage when The Standard contacted them last week, and whether this current scarcity situation could suggest the lack of fuel in town, Mr Jammeh said: “I might not [be in position to] tell you whether there is no fuel in town or not, but I can tell you that we are not having supplies.”
Officials of Gampetroleum were not available for immediate comment by the time we went to press last night.
A female attendant at the Total pump station in Bakoteh revealed: “We have not been selling fuel all these days because our suppliers have not come and what we had in stock was finished. Many of my clients have been going to a place in the Senegambia area to buy fuel but I understand it is a long queue.”
Musa Jallow, a pump attendant at Galp station in Serekunda, said their station received a supply of fuel yesterday morning but it got finished a few hours later.
Authors: Sanna Camara & Sainey Darboe