Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 November 2019:
Petrol stations across many towns and cities in Sierra Leone are today closed, due to shortage in supply of fuel products, such as petrol, diesel and kerosene, causing long traffic queues at filling stations.
Whilst the cause of the shortage is not clear, the national petroleum agency has issued a statement warning fuel companies to refrain from hoarding fuel to force prices up. It warns that “there will be no increase in the prices of feul this year”.
But fuel companies have denied creating artificial scarcity by hoarding, which the government claims is the cause of the fuel shortage at the pumps across the country.
Some fuel companies are blaming the shortage on declining stock of fuel due to the country’s worsening foreign currency exchange problem, which has made the cost of importing fuel very expensive.
There are reports that in Kenema and several other provincial towns and cities, almost all filling stations are closed, with drivers hopelessly queuing up for fuel.
In the capital Freetown, electricity blackouts is causing serious problems in many parts of the city, as gas guzzling power generators run short of supplies.
The country’s electricity distribution and supply agency (EDSA) says that it needs Le311 Billion to function efficiently and to provide lower-cost electricity.
This week’s fuel scarcity will have significant impact on industry as well as households, as the costs of transportation now set to rise, adding further pressure on inflation which currently stands at over 17%.
To compound this economic hardship, yesterday’s decision by MPs in parliament to add a clause to the government’s 2020 Finance Act, which now classes the cost of international travels by the President, Vice President and Speaker of Parliament as “non-accountable expenditure” has been greeted across the country with dismay and alarm.
What this means is that, the President, Vice President and Speaker of Parliament will no longer account for the amount of money they spend on their international travels.
Listen here to the report from parliament:
Unemployment in Sierra Leone is rising faster as the number of graduates and school leavers unable to find work, grows. Seventy percent of young people are out of work as the economy bites.
The government says it is doing all it can to stimulate and promote investments in key sectors of the economy to create jobs and reduce poverty, but as yet there is no end in sight to the economic hardship facing millions of people across the country.
With foreign currencies in short supply and government budget tightening due to falling export revenue, corruption in high places may not now be a big problem for Sierra Leone as it was in the previous government.
But the rising cost of foods and basic consumer items is without doubt, fast becoming a big headache for the Bio-led government.
This is what people in Freetown think about the fuel shortage (courtesy of Sierra Network):
A very BAD CLAUSE indeed. I urgently urge all the OPPOSITION PARTIES to immediately start a PARLIAMENTARY POLITICAL GUERILLA WARFARE to STOP and ELIMINATE this YUKI YUKI CLAUSE. There should always be ACCOUNTABILITY on GOVERNMENT spending. NO BUTS, NO IFS. PERIOD.
This is a classic game that the petroleum dealers played whenever they want to increase price by creating artificial shortage, and if the government takes action they will be called a PAOPA dictatorship. I have been wrong to give credit to the current opposition APC Members of Parliament that they have been very vocal. This should have been the right time for the APC, NGC, C4C and Independent parties to vote against this Bill. But I guess their (MP) increment will be next.
Not only in Sierra Leone, but also in Europe where there is need for new, fresh democratic movement against this neo-liberal poltics, which makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.
This is the price we must pay for practising bad politics. As a nation, we are unable to provide basic necessities and services for our people. After 58 Years of self rule, things have stood still without any good results to write home about. The people of Sierra Leone have suffered a long period of time in the hands of APC and that of SLPP. We the people are ‘HOST TO SUFFERING’. Do we deserve this? Enough is Enough.
This is exactly the reason why Sierra Leone doesn’t move forward even by an inch. No wonder this criminal Cartel fought so very hard to get the majority in Parliament.(lol) Why should the President, VP and Speaker not give account of their travelling expenditures? Give me just two valid reasons why they shouldn’t, and I will give hundreds why they should.(lol) Friends, this is what milking the national coffers dry looks like – this is broad daylight robbery of the people of Sierra Leone.
See what the gross incompetence of this money hungry SLPP is causing presently – a drastic fuel shortage that has steadily been building its momentum since the SLPP took over the reins of power. All these Professors, as many as grains of sand, and their efforts put together count as nothing.(lol)
And that nothingness can be vividly seen in the long lines of people waiting for fuel. It is visible also in the mindless acts of a corrupt police force that is being used as instruments for bullying and intimidating innocent citizens. What an irresponsible and inadequate government this is! They have recklessly let inflation soar unchecked towards sky high levels, and it keeps on rising unrestrained towards catastrophic heights.
Again, much needed Iron Ore revenues have been cut off completely because of their arrogance and repulsive attitude of negligence and irresponsible behavior.(lmao) Brace yourselves for the worst, because very soon Saffa’s financial noose is going to begin to tighten around your necks. Its going to strangle you for being poor, uneducated, sick and mentally ill. ..Rising Sun Will Rise Again.