January 17, 2020
By Frederick V. Kanneh
Native Consortium and Research Centre (NCRC) has yesterday in a press statement promised to stage a demonstration if any disproportionate increment is made on the pump prices of petroleum products.
The release stated that the NCRC was deeply concerned about the discomfort and scarcity of transportation suffered by citizens across the country particularly in Freetown.
It noted that the current situation was not unconnected to the deliberate cocktail of artificial scarcity in Diesel by the Oil Marketers and that Diesel has never been scarce in the country, adding that the NCRC found it too strange as an organisation operating in the same country because between 2018 to date, fuel crisis has become problem like almost every three months.
“We strongly believe the lack of economic diversification to mobilise more revenue and the Non liberalisation of the sector will continue to create huge pressure on by way of high taxes on petroleum products,” the release stated.
The release urged the Police and the Ministry of Transport to monitor the unpatriotic and mischief making drivers, who runs halfway their normal routes thereby creating the discomfort for ordinary citizens.
“In as much as the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) and the Trade Ministry have woefully failed to engage with the Native Consortium to look at possible recommendations, we are also not oblivious of the tensions between the US and Iran on the hike in the international Platform for crude. However, the plight of the citizens should be central to the government and even leaders of the opposition parties. But sadly most of our opposition politicians have become a pariah to the people,” the statement reads.
The release further thanked President Bio for what it described as his tough stance taken against the oil market/dealers in November last year.
It concluded by calling on the president to take another bold step or else peaceful demonstration would be eminent and inevitable against any disproportionate increment.