Fuel retailers decry ‘general shortage’

By Sanna Camara

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An official of the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) has decried a “general fuel shortage” which he said, has caused them to close services at their Bertil Herding highway retail station on Sunday.

Fuel consumers like car owners and drivers, generator users and others have been desperately searching for fuel around the greater Banjul area to meet teir 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.

This has been the situation in town for the past one week. Many petrol stations in the greater Banjul area are shut with staff “sitting home till the supply comes”.

That is why our stations got closed

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Mr. Modou Panneh, downstream manager of, the national petroleum retailing company, said 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, maintainig that he is not the right person to speak about it. When contacted for more information, Mr. Mama Tambia Jammeh, a top manager at GNPC also allude to earlier claims that they receive their fuel from supplies Gampetroleum depot in Mandinari, Kombo North.

“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. “We all buy from GP (meaning Gampetroleum),” he added.

‘We are not having supplies’

When put to him that Gampetroleum have denied fuel shortage when contacted 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.”

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Last week, we approached them to clarify the scarcity claims from retailers, and Mr. Waidat, who spoke to us, said there was no shortage of fuel. The company’s depot manager in Mandinari, Michael Girardine, also denied scarcity shortage. And even though Mr. Waidat promised to call us to give details, the call never came, and our efforts to reach him proved futile.

‘Many of my clients are going to other places…’

A female pump 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 Senegambia to buy fuel but I understand it is a long queue.”

Musa Jallow, a pump attendant at Galp station in Serre kunda, said their statio received supply of fuel yesterday morning but got finished a few hours later.

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