Sierra Leoneans woke up to massive rise in fuel prices as inflation soars

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 March 2022:

Cost of living in Sierra Leone has been spiralling out of control in the last few years, fuelling rising poverty and early deaths, despite the government claiming to be doing all it can to turn the economy around. (Photo above – President Julius Maada Bio).

Since coming to power in 2018, President Bio has presided over a one hundred percent increase in the cost of fuel and other basic household commodities, as the value of the Leone against global currencies fall by over forty percent.

This morning, the people of Sierra Leone woke up to a huge rise in fuel prices from Twelve Thousand Leones to Fifteen Thousand Leones a Litre.

Cost of public transport has also gone up by Thousands of Leones in some cases, sparking an immediate hike in food prices as well as other commodities.

The capital Freetown has been in constant darkness for several months as electricity outage becomes the new normal under the Bio-led government.

The government says that the latest rise in fuel prices is the result of global supply chain problems due to the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

But critics are not buying the government’s explanation. They are accusing the government of gross mismanagement, incompetence and corruption in high places.

President Bio and several of his ministers are currently in Vietnam, one of the world’s largest producers of rice – Sierra Leone’s staple food.

Hundreds of millions of dollars claimed by the government to have been invested in rice farming since 2018, have yielded very little rice production in the country.

With presidential and general elections just fifteen months away, the President is trying to ensure that voters do not go to the polls in empty stomachs. He is believed to be negotiating huge consignment of rice supplies from Vietnam to arrive in time for the 24 June 2023 elections. But what will the President give to Vietnam in return?

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Why can’t Sierra Leoneans get along to solve some of the problems the country and the regular people are facing? Sierra Leone is facing the same problem of hyperinflation the rest of the world is facing. No country is immuned from this pandemic. Sierra Leone does not have the capacity as many industrialized countries have to abate the biting fangs of inflation. Let’s all look at the following scenarios: 1. Reduce the massive population growth in Freetown to half. 2. Encourage real farming initiatives. 3. Shut down diploma mills and closely monitor approved schools for academic excellence. 4. Reduce the number of ministers to around 15. 5. Reduce spending on wasteful foreign imports that impact the foreign exchange rate. Also, minimize international travel unless necessary. This list is just the beginning.

    We waste too much precious time throwing stones at one another instead of addressing the basic but critical issues facing the country. You don’t need a doctorate degree to put forward ideas to help people. Good luck folks.

  2. During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President of the World’s superpower former President Trump blamed the global economic hardship on China. Now that the World is on the brink of a “ Third World War” and the stiffest economic sanctions imposed on Russia which has one of the most powerful nuclear weapons in the world, President Joe Biden has blamed President Putin of Russia for the economic crisis around the world. Under the leadership of President Bio, our beloved nation was one of the last country in the world to experience COVID-19 and reported one of the least death rate. Despite economic challenges, our country never experienced any shortage of food and fuel. Even schools were opened while the whole world was on shutdown based on the fact that the government continued to pay for the Free quality education.

    The reality is, although we are still rated as one of the poorest countries, we are one of the proudest and happiest countries in Africa. The only way to improve our rating is to start producing in order to improve our exports which will eventually improve our Gross Domestic Product. Unfortunately, some of our citizens continue to live in Freetown and “sucking their thumbs with running nose” complaining about President Bio and 2023 elections since they lost the 2018 elections instead of being productive. The link below shows how our country’s happiness has improved within 2 years under President Bio’s New Direction leadership despite global economic challenges: https://weetracker.com/2020/03/20/happiest-and-saddest-african-countries-2020/

    • Alusine Fallay,

      Some of us are not in the business of peddling fuzzy logic. We love to crunch numbers and deal with hard facts in our day jobs.

      Sierra Leone’s position in the World Happiness index has got progressively worst over the years, even before the pandemic – always shamefully propping up our next door neighbours Guinea and Liberia.

      Nice try though in trying to invoke mitigating circumstances in defence of your man. Next year we might be right in the eye of the storm from the economic fall-out of the present geopolitics. Voters who are interested only in bread and butter issues will next year dismiss that geopolitics outright as greek to them.

      Man dem nor happy oh.

      See how we are faring in the happiness index.

      2017 106th
      2018 113th
      2019 – 129th
      2020 139th
      2021 – 138th
      2022 – 140th

      If you love to interpolate, the direction of travel is discernible. Do yar leh we nor tote buckeet.

      Check this out, mate :

      https://worldhappiness.report/archive/

  3. 25th October 1983, the small Island nation of Grenada, was invaded by the United States with a coalition support of six other Caribbean islands nation, after the overthrow of the democratically elected prime minister Maurice Bishop.” Operation urgent Fury” as the American military called it was to stop Fidel Castro backed communist revolutionaries from taking over the Island. In a town hall meeting in Kabala, President Saika P Stevens made a passing remark that we Sierra Leoneans don’t have too much interest about events happening in a far away Island nation. Fast forward to Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine, Sierra-leone might have took a neutral position in the United Nations, in condemning his outrageous action, but there is no escaping the facts the war in Ukraine will have a devastating effects on our already sluggish economy.

    Oil prices like petroleum, Kerosene, gas, electricity, bread, rice are all going up. Which in turn will drive up the prices of basic commodities like Okra, ogri, dry fish, cassva, and potatoe leaf or blogo . If any thing covid19 have shown the world’s economy is fully intigrated. What happens in one part of the world, should not be dismissed as an isolated incident. Fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining is the best policy of any government that is a true representative of the economic aspirations of its people. And with Bio’s one directionless government, the lack of clear sound economics policies, and a government that is knee dip in corruption allegations, chances are even the next government will find it difficult to clear the economic mess after the Bio government.

    We need politicians that can think outside the box and lay the ground work of how to get us out of this mess.or better still before you cast your vote for the next presidential candidate, ask yourself has your standard of living improve since the last election in 2018 or like me every day is a battle for survival in Bio’s Sierra Leone?

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