Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 January 2020:
Yesterday the government of Sierra Leone issued a joint statement with fuel suppliers in the country announcing an increase in the prices of petrol, kerosene, diesel and other fuel oil.
The increase ranges from Le8,500 to Le9,000 for petrol, diesel, and kerosene. But the biggest price rise is on fuel oil, which has gone up from Le7,500 to Le9,000.
Although the government is saying that the increase has nothing to do with the decision to reduce government subsidy on fuel in the country in line with the International Monetary Fund’s conditionality, analysts say that the continuing fall in government export revenue and the declining value of the Leone is severely affecting government’s finances and ability to sustain subsidies.
According to the government’s statement, “Following recent developments in the international markets for petroleum products, the Petrol Regulatory Agency, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), have jointly reviewed the pump prices of petroleum products to reflect the recent movements in the Platts and hereby announce the following pump prices with immediate effect.
“All OMCs and fuel dealers nationwide are urged to adhere to the above pump price adjustments. The government and OMCs have agreed to reform the downstream petroleum sector, in a transparent way of adjusting fuel pump prices that seeks the interest of the general public.”
These fuel price increases, though not as huge as previously thought, have had an immediate knock-on effect on transportation costs and fares across the country.
For most routes across the country, the new public transport fares increase range between Le100 and Le300 per passenger.
Though the effect on inflation in the country would be marginally small, analysts say that any further rises could begin to impact harshly on consumers’ pockets.