Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 July 2021:
In a press release issued on Thursday 1st July, 2021 by the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) it was announced that the PRA in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have agreed to adjust fuel prices with effect from Thursday 1st July, 2021.
The statement highlighted that fuel prices in Sierra Leone are adjusted on a monthly basis and principally driven by international factors, coupled with the fact that Sierra Leone imports finished products at prices determined at the global level, adding that the landed costs of all petroleum products recorded a shift in the 5% trigger mechanism translating into a market price of Le9, 886.66 and Le9, 790.85 for diesel and petrol respectively.
The statement said that the petroleum products prices for July 2021 will be adjusted as follows: Petrol from Le8, 500 to Le9, 500, Diesel from Le8, 500 to Le9, 500, Kerosene from Le8, 500 to Le9, 500 and Fuel Oil from Le8, 500 to Le9, 500.
“The Government and Oil Operators will continue to reform the downstream petroleum sector with transparency and fairness including regular monthly pricing review based on the movement in the Platts and foreign exchange rates,” the release concluded.
Following the announcement of the new prices, the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) held a press conference on Wednesday 30th July 2021 at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Hall at Youyi Building in Freetown bordering on the Sierra Leone downstream oil sector.
The Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), Dr. Brima Baluwa Koroma informed the media that Sierra Leone consumes of 1.1 million litres of petroleum products per day but the country only stores 40% of what is used per day.
He said that Government had intervened in the past by injecting about Le 66 Billion and Le17.43 Billion before this time, adding that in totality Government gave up to about Le132.11 Billion in subsidy to stabilize the pump price.
Dr. Koroma disclosed that because of low fuel price in Sierra Leone, relatively below the regional average, it is obvious that the Government was subsidizing in favour of neighbouring countries and other large corporate companies, stating that the low pump price in Sierra Leone attracts abnormally higher sales volume which threatens the budgeted import volume by Oil Marketing Companies which he said also leads to frequent replenishment.
In another development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry held a meeting with transport stakeholders on Wednesday 30th June, 2021 during which the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Edward Hinga Sandy revealed an increase in pump prices of petroleum products due to the increase of Platt prices, made worse by the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Minister Sandy stated that the increase will be from Eight Thousand Five Hundred Leones (Le 8500) to Nine Thousand Five Hundred Leones (Le 9500), which is a 12% increase.
Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon, said that a point-to-point fare will be increased on an average of Le 200/Le300 within towns and Le5000 to and from the provinces. He implored commercial vehicle owners and the drivers’ union to cooperate with the two Ministries and Government as a whole by adhering to the stipulated transport costs.
These are the problems you encounter when you allow some unscrupulous politicians and civil servants sell your oil refinery under a rogue and so called bunch of military blokes. Who was the liason commandant who gave the laissez passé for the deal at that time? I admire our former president and Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. But, I was disappointed and remain disappointed why he failed to take action against those unpatriotic, unscrupulous and rogue elements when he took office. I become upset and mad each time there is fuel crisis in the country.
Why should our people suffer because of a few narrow minded rogues who sold their one and only oil refinery and now left to rot? Nonsense! Anyway, “noff respect” to my former President and Commander in Chief of the republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. See you soon. Yeah.