By Makutu Manneh
The beginning of June has been the fourth time the prices of diesel and petrol are being increased in 2019.
This reporter visited different petrol stations within the Greater Banjul Area to confirm from pump attendants the increment in fuel prices, following an outcry from commercial vehicle drivers about the regular increment of prices. They also voiced out the challenges and difficulties they go through due to the high price of fuel.
Muhammad Sanyang a pump attendant in one of the patrol stations in the Kanifing Municipality, confirmed the increase in fuel prices. Similarly, confirmation was made from different petrol stations.
Mr Sanyang said the price of petrol increased from D55.54 to D57.36; that similarly diesel also increased from D55.34 to D56.17. He said the increment was done on 1st June 2019.
He said when fuel price increases, they face difficulty with drivers, adding that it gives them extra task to explain to drivers the new development, before selling fuel to them. “Some of them will even leave in anger”, he said.
Momodou Baye a commercial driver said he has been driving for about 15 years. He added that if the price of fuel goes up, they make little profit. “If fuel is expensive, we will not be able to make any profit”, he lamented.
He said fuel prices are increasing frequently but there no corresponding increases in transportation fares. He added that he buys D700 fuel to serve him all day but is unable to make profit due to frequent traffic jams.
“That’s why some of the taxi drivers only accept town trips”, he said.
Alagie Kujabie a van driver said “We need to work harder to be able to take money home”, he said.
He said they have families to take care of, adding that they always buy fuel but they find it difficult to make profit. He also said he has two children but he cannot afford to send them to school due to the problems he grapples with in the execution of his work.
Lamin Bayo also a van driver said he has 6 school going children to take care of, and the continuous increase in fuel prices is making things very difficult for him.
“The government needs to consider us when they are increasing the prices of fuel”, he said.
He added that commercial driving is the only job available for them because if they leave the job, they will it hard to get a job.
Isatou Sallah a commuter said it is now very difficult to get a car to take them to their destination.
“Many taxi drivers are only plying for town trip”, she said. She said drivers often complain of the increment in the prices of fuel.